Aquino says mom would have been proud of his accomplishments
MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino said Friday that while the country is “marking success after success,” his mother, the late president Corazon Aquino, would be the first to remind him that this “virtuous cycle” must not make him complacent.
“If my mother were alive, she would be happy to see the changes taking place today: a steadily growing economy, a government now truly dedicated to good governance and public service, and a citizenry filled with newfound optimism,” Mr. Aquino said in a message read by his cousin, Liberal Party senatorial candidate Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV.
But Cory “would also be the first to remind me that there is no room for complacency. We cannot hope that the virtuous cycle we see at work now will sustain itself,” Mr. Aquino, who is in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, said in a prepared speech for Friday’s commemoration of his mother’s 80th birth anniversary at the Cory Aquino Monument in Manila.
The wreath-laying ceremony, led by Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, was graced by Cory’s friends and advisers, former Senator Heherson Alvarez, Voltaire Gazmin, Deedee Siytangco, Teddyboy Locsin Jr. and Justice Adolf Azcuna, among other personalities.
Before delivering the President’s message, Bam Aquino spoke of how Cory, despite being ill, still took the time to call and thank him for donating his blood. Cory was confined for colon cancer in 2009 at the Makati Medical Center and passed away on Aug. 1 of that year.
“You don’t have to thank me, it’s an honor to serve you and give everything we have for you because you’ve given so much more for the country,” Bam Aquino said.
Locsin said he spoke for all Cory’s friends and supporters present at the event when he said, “We were young ones and brave in the service of a woman out of legend. Our lives are complete; it is impossible to achieve more.”
In his speech, Mr. Aquino trumpeted the gains of his administration, saying that the Philippines was marking “success after success once more.”
He cited the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s tax collection, which breached the P1-trillion mark for the first time, the signing of a preliminary “framework agreement” with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the world’s “overwhelming confidence” in the country.
The President added that everyone must actively participate to sustain these changes and keep the Philippines moving forward, a lesson he learned from the events leading to the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and brought Cory to the presidency.
“This is one of the things that has always struck me about the life my mother lived: that it was filled with ordinary people, who, together, achieved truly remarkable things,” Mr. Aquino said.
He said this ordinariness did not stop the “plain housewife… and thousands of other Filipinos from thronging the streets, standing up to a dictator and fighting for justice and truth, despite the threat of death” during the People Power Revolution.
“This is why I believe that everyone has a role in sustaining the changes taking place in the Philippines.… There is no action too small or insignificant if, like the actions of the men and women who filled Edsa, it is done out of a desire to right what is wrong,” Mr. Aquino said.