Jesuit priest leads pray-over for Noynoy on Ninoy’s 85th birth anniversary
Jesuit priest Fr. Manoling Francisco, who’s also a liturgical composer, on Monday minced no words at a Mass to mark the 85th birth anniversary of martyred opposition leader Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., describing these times as “turbulent and dangerous.”
Francisco also led the small congregation at the Mass in praying over former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, likening him to his father.
In the prayer joined by the former President’s sisters – Ballsy, Pinky, and Viel – Francisco asked for “protection, courage and strength” for Aquino.
“Lord, we surrender to you our beloved Noy. Lord protect him from all harm. Lord give him courage and strength to face the trials to remain faithful to his convictions despite the onslaught of false accusations,” Francisco prayed. “Lord may your peace dwell within him. Assure him that he has been a faithful son of yours and may this assurance bring him peace and trust in you our God our God of justice and our god giver of life.”
Before the Mass began, Francisco said: “During these turbulent times, during this dangerous period, this period of anxiety amidst so much threats around us enfolding us, we ask for the grace of courage and perseverance. We ask for the grace to be faithful to the truth despite our fears and anxieties and amidst the threats to our well being. And we ask [Ninoy] to embolden us and Noy, especially.”
Francisco said both father and son had “suffered much and [were] persecuted and suffered because of [their] principles and convictions.”
The former President will undergo trial at the Sandiganbayan for a graft and usurpation of authority case stemming from the Mamasapano debacle in 2015.
The Department of Justice also announced that Aquino and his former Cabinet members would be investigated in connection with the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
Later on Monday afternoon, a DOJ witness claimed that a syndicate in General Santos City had name-dropped Eldon Cruz, brother-in-law of Aquino, in a right-of-way scam. Cruz is the husband of Aquino’s eldest sister, Ballsy. /atm
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