Aquino thanks Duterte’s good words for Ninoy
MANILA — Former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III on Monday thanked President Duterte for the good words the Chief Executive had for his father, the martyred Senator Ninoy Aquino, but appealed to Mr. Duterte to time and again reread his own statement to remember the country’s past.
“This morning, I was able to read President Duterte’s statement and I am thankful to him for the good words he said about my father,” Aquino said in Filipino.
“But I appeal to him that perhaps, at times he should read it every once in a while because these were his words. He might remember where (our country) came from,” he added to the cheers and applause of those who joined the Aquino family at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City.
Ninoy Aquino, then the country’s leading opposition leader against the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was assassinated at the tarmac of the then Manila International Airport on Aug. 21, 1983 on his return from the United States.
His death triggered the public uprising that led to the Edsa People Power Revolution in 1986 that toppled the Marcos dictatorship.
In his statement, Mr. Duterte expressed hope that the commemoration of Ninoy Aquino’s death would “strengthen his legacy of promoting solidarity and patriotism among our people, especially in these troubling times.”
Duterte, who is criticized for his bloody war on drugs, said Ninoy “fought for what is right and just.”
“Up until the very end of his life, he inspired a peaceful revolution that resulted into the liberties we enjoy today,” the President said.
“Even at a time when hope was lost, he remained steadfast in his struggle to restore democracy through non-violent means. His deeds have taught us that we should always aspire for the common good — even if one must go against the grain — and do what is necessary,” he added.
“Through his words of wisdom, let us reflect on his life and realize that, indeed, the Filipino is worth dying for,” Duterte said.
The former President thanked all those who came to the cemetery despite the rains.
“Other people say yellow is now out of fashion. But now it seems that all kinds of yellow are here, so thank you,” Aquino said.
More than a hundred supporters of the Aquinos showed up at the cemetery wearing yellow and cheered when the moment they saw the former President arrive.
They were people from all walks of life, several of whom wore they old Ninoy and Cory Aquino yellow shirts.
Vice President Leni Robredo also joined the family during the mass. Also at the mass were Liberal Party chairman Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and minority Senators Frank Drilon, Bam Aquino, and Antonio Trillanes; former Cabinet secretaries Voltaire Gazmin, Ging Deles, Butch Abad, and Dinky Soliman.
Former Health Secretary Chit Reodica, who served during the Ramos administration, former Manila City Mayor Fred Lim, and former senator Jun Magsaysay were at the mass as well. JE
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.