Nation before self: Aquino thanks Roxas, Robredo for their ‘sacrifices’
If there was one word that was heavily used by President Benigno Aquino III and Liberal Party standard bearers Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and Representative Leni Robredo on Monday, it was the word “sacrifice.”
“Hindi ko maiwasang balikan ang mga taong nagsakripisyo para marating natin ang puntong ito (I can’t help but recall the people who have sacrificed for us to be at this point),” Aquino said after Robredo announced that she is accepting Roxas’ offer to become LP’s vice presidential candidate.
He enumerated those who fought against the Marcos dictatorship, his parents Ninoy and Cory Aquino and Roxas’ father Gerardo Roxas, as well as the late Jesse Robredo, Leni’s husband, who served as secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
But what Aquino highlighted was the younger Roxas’ sacrifice in 2009. At that time, Cory Aquino had just died and there was a clamor for then Senator Aquino to run. Despite Roxas’ plans to run for president, he gave way to Aquino, who eventually won in 2010.
“Mar, hindi ka talaga mahilig magbuhat ng sariling bangko,” the President said during the LP event held in Club Filipino. “Ako na ang magbabanggit na noong 2009, gumawa rin si Mar ng isang matinding sakripisyo para manatiling buo ang koalisyon at masigurong mawawakasan ang halos isang dekada ng pang-aabuso sa ating mga kababayan.”
(Mar, you don’t know how to trumpet your contributions. Let me mention that in 2009 Mar made an great sacrifice to keep the coalition whole and to ensure that the nearly a decade of abuse of the previous administration would come to an end.)
Aquino said that although Roxas has worked hard to become president, he graciously gave way to him without anything in exchange.
“Talagang wala sa kanya ang magsulong ng personal na ambisyon (He is not wrapped up in his own personal ambition),” he said.
On the other hand, the Robredo gave in to requests for her to follow in the footsteps of her husband.
Aquino said her situation reminded him of his mother, who was catapulted to the presidency after his father was assassinated.
“Pareho silang itinuring na maybahay lamang, tapos tinawag para mamuno. At gaya rin ng aking ina, walang ambisyon si Leni na tumakbo (They were both housewives who were called upon to lead. Like my mother, Leni did not have any ambition to run),” he explained.
However, she was asked to go against a political dynasty in her district in Camarines Sur.
Now, Aquino and LP are banking on her track record and reputation to win the vice president’s post.
Earlier reports said Robredo was hesitant in accepting Roxas’ offer to be his running mate because of her family.
Her daughters, specifically, were said to have found the situation difficult since it meant that she would have less time with her family.
“Matapos ang ilang taon ng pagsisikap na ibalik sa normal ang kanilang pamumuhay, na lalong naging mahirap dahil kinailangan niyang maglingkod, may mas matindi naman ngayong sakripisyong hinihingi sa kanila,” Aquino said, referring to the years after Jesse was killed in a plane crash in 2012.
(After a couple of years of struggling to regain normal lives, which was difficult because she had to serve, they are now being asked of a greater sacrifice.)
“Salamat sa iyo, Leni, at sa iyong mga anak. [Palakpakan] Gagawin ko at ng partido ang lahat para lagi ninyong maramdamang hindi kayo nag-iisa,” Aquino added.
(They you, Leni and to your children. I and the party will do everything for you not to feel alone.)
Nation before self
Aquino said the stamp of Liberal Party was choosing the country over personal interests.
“Bayan bago ang sarili (nation before self),” he said.
Aquino said members of the ruling party did not disappoint those who sacrificed for them.
“Ginawa at ginagawa rin natin ang nararapat na sakripisyo para masigurong mas maganda rin ang pagsisimulan ng mga susunod sa atin,” he said.
(We have made and are making the necessary sacrifices to ensure that those who will come after us will have a good start.)
Near the end of his speech, Aquino hit his critics and political opponents, saying that if they were lucky enough to be elected they might claim the programs and projects first introduced by his administration.
“Kung may gustong makisakay sa mga tagumpay natin, kailangan lang nating tanungin: Ano ba ang sakripisyong nagawa ninyo para sa Daang Matuwid?” he said.
(If there are those who want to ride on our success, we just have to ask them: What sacrifices have you made for the Straight Path?)
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