President Rodrigo Duterte heaped praises on the late Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. on the eve of the latter’s death anniversary, saying the late opposition leader paved the way for positive changes in the country.
“History is witness to how Ninoy’s work as a journalist and a politician drove him to effect positive and meaningful changes in our society. Throughout, he fought for what is right and just,” Duterte said in a statement.
Ninoy was assassinated on August 21, 1983 as he was disembarking from a plane at the Manila International Airport.
“Up until the very end of his life, he inspired a peaceful revolution that resulted in the liberties we enjoy today. Even at a time when hope was lost, he remained steadfast in his struggle to retire democracy through non violent means,” Duterte said.
“His deeds have taught us that we should always aspire for the common good—even if one must go against the grain, and do what is necessary. His deeds have taught us that we should always aspire for the common good, even if one must go against the grain, and so what is necessary.”
He then called on the public to strengthen Ninoy’s legacy of promoting solidarity and patriotism.
“Through his words of wisdom, let us reflect on his life and realize that indeed, the Filipino is worth dying for,” Duterte cited.
Duterte’s mother, Soledad, led the Yellow Friday Movement in Davao City that supported the Presidential bid of Ninoy’s widow, Corazon Aquino, during the 1986 snap elections against then incumbent President Ferdinand Marcos.
Mrs. Aquino went on to become the President as a result of the bloodless People Power revolution that ousted the Marcoses from power after 20 years of rule.
Duterte recently tagged Marcos as the best president of the country and even initiated measures that led to the interment of the late dictator’s remains at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
According to government records, at least 70,000 people fell victim to torture, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances during Marcos’ martial law regime.