Ninoy, ‘greatest modern hero’ – Joel Villanueva
Senators paid tribute on Tuesday to martyred Senator Ninoy Aquino, who was described by one as the country’s “greatest modern hero.”
Exactly 35 years ago today, Aquino was assassinated at the then Manila International Airport (now Ninoy Aquino International Airport.)
“Today, we commemorate the 35th death anniversary of the country’s greatest modern hero, former Senator Ninoy Aquino,” Senator Joel Villanueva said in a statement.
“In the spirit of the Edsa revolution that followed the assassination of Ninoy, may we always be reminded that we are the Filipinos who won our freedoms through the lives and deaths of those who ended the oppressive reigns of Martial Law.”
“As we pay tribute to Ninoy, let us become the Filipinos who live on the promise of justice, freedom, and development. Let us form a nation of collective trust and cooperation so that we can be the present day Filipinos worth dying for,” added Villanueva, who belongs to the majority bloc in the Senate.
Opposition Senator Leila de Lima, meanwhile, called on Filipinos to remember Aquino’s heroism and continue his fight for democracy.
“Ang pagpaslang po kay Ninoy ay nag-iwan ng hamon sa mga Pilipino noon na ipaglaban ang demokrasya, na siyang tinugunan ng makasaysayang People Power sa Edsa. Muli tayong hinahamon sa madilim na namang kabanata ng ating kasaysayan,” De Lima said in a separate statement.
“Bilang mga tagapagmana ng demokrasyang ipinaglaban ni Ninoy at ng milyon-milyong Pilipino, ituloy natin ang pagtindig, ang pagkakapit-bisig at pagsasama-sama ng ating tinig para sa ipaglaban ang katotohanan at katarungan sa ating Inang Bayan,” she added.
Aquino was among those arrested and jailed when martial law was declared by then-President Ferdinand Marcos.
After spending seven years in jail and suffering a heart attack, Aquino was allowed to leave for the United States for medical treatment. He was shot dead at the airport when he returned to the Philippines on Aug. 21, 1983.
De Lima said Aquino might have been killed by assassins but not his advocacies and principles. /cbb
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