TV host and actress Kris Aquino on Friday urged Filipinos to pray that her brother and incumbent President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd “stays alive” and for them to speak up loudly against his critics.
After a Holy Mass to commemorate the fifth death anniversary of their mother, former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino, Kris said “a great majority” of Filipinos still trust her brother but choose to be silent.
“I guess I can tell that to Noy [short for Noynoy]now that the great majority of our people still really believe in him. They know what the good job he is doing. Ang problema lang iyong mga bilib tumatahimik [The only problem is that the believers keep quiet],” she said.
Kris shared that she tends to reply to those who praise her brother on social media and block those who speak negatively of him.
The President’s youngest sister, she said the people who support him “should not be complacent.”
“He can’t do it on his own, we need to stand by him, and give him strength. And please pray with us also that he stays alive,” Kris added.
During his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) last Monday, the President, 54, said he is risking his life while doing his job.
He, however, added that he would not turn his back on the Filipino because that would be maligning the memory and sacrifices of his parents—Corazon and late former senator Benigno Aquino Jr.
Meanwhile, Kris promised to constantly wear yellow after watching a “news broadcast” where reporters wore colors that showed their “bias” against the President.
She said she has an advantage because she has “more airtime” to counter those reporters, apparently referring to a number of television programs that she hosts individually or with another celebrity.
Kris added that the President’s supporters “should be there” for him, not just in times of criticisms, but in times when “he is doing good.”
“Sana iyong mga naniniwala sa kanya, iparamdam sa kanya araw-araw na hindi siya nag-iisa [Those who believe in him should make him feel that he is not alone],” she said.
Malacañang also on Friday urged Filipinos to emulate the virtues Mrs. Aquino, who died of colon cancer on August 1, 2009.
Her children, led by the incumbent President, commemorated her fifth death anniversary with a Mass at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City (Metro Manila).
In a statement, Palace spokes–man Edwin Lacierda said Mrs. Aquino left a legacy that made Filipinos worth living for.
“As we look back [at]President Cory’s celebrated life, let us remember the virtues for which she is best known and which have endeared her to the public—the courage with which she adopted the fight for democracy; the humility which she maintained throughout her presidency; and the compassion with which she considered the needs of all Filipinos,” Lacierda added.
“This is the legacy she left us with, a legacy that marks not only the pages of our history but also our collective memory. In gratitude for her contributions, let us seek to emulate these virtues as we continue her work of establishing a stronger, even more vibrant democracy,” he said.
Mrs. Aquino, according to Lacierda, could be best remembered as having been the widow of former senator Benigno Aquino Jr., and on whose shoulders fell the responsibility of fighting for democracy after her husband’s assassination on August 21, 1983.
“From that point on, she took up the country’s fight against dictatorship. In the years leading up to the 1986 EDSA Revolution, President Cory embodied the country’s struggle for freedom—a struggle that continued during her presidency as she sought to undo the mistakes of the past and establish safeguards to ensure that the country never falls under a dictatorship again,” he said.
Lacierda added that even after her term ended, Mrs. Aquino continued her public service through political activism and support for non-profit organizations.
“Even after her presidency, she remained active in the country’s affairs—a true icon of democracy not just in name but in actions—and supported various social projects as well as charitable institutions,” he said.
“Five years after her death, we still see clearly how her life proves that the Filipino is worth living for.”
In Manila, Mrs. Aquino’s supporters flocked at the Post Office in the nation’s capital to buy scented commemorative stamps, featuring the paintings of the democracy icon, Enrique Tagle, Philpost marketing head, said also on Friday.
According to Tagle, as early as 7 a.m., an overwhelming number of Cory’s supporters were already queuing to buy the stamps, which some had already reserved for corporate orders.
On August 1, the Post Office, or the Philippine Postal Corp. (Philpost), sold an estimated 50 percent of its available Cory stamps.
Tagle said they will not reproduce or reprint the same materials as has been their common practice.