IF Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. were alive today, he would have given President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd a tongue-lashing for considering extending his term beyond 2016, according to Rep. Terry Ridon of Kabataan party-list.
“Ninoy fought against the dictatorship…fired up the Filipino nation’s fighting spirit by exposing the Marcos regime’s excesses and crimes.
Yet, more than three decades after his death, here is his son, Noynoy, vainly trying to consolidate power for himself by floating the idea of clipping the judiciary’s power and lifting term limits,” Ridon said.
The lawmaker added that Aquino’s recent political moves are more similar to the actions of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos rather than Ninoy’s.
“If Ninoy was alive today, he would have been President Noynoy’s staunchest critic. Ninoy, and even the late President [Corazon] “Cory” Aquino, would have reprimanded Noynoy for raising the possibility of a second term,” Ridon said.
Thursday was the 31st death anniversary of former senator Aquino.
Ridon reminded the President that his father, Ninoy, was a political prisoner during his time and urged him to acknowledge and grant amnesty to alleged political prisoners.
When asked if the President failed to live up to the late senator’s example, Rep. Jerry Treñas of Iloilo said it is Aquino who can give the best answer.
“I don’t think so. In so far as legacy is concerned, the son of Ninoy Aquino is in the best position to say whether he is or is not living up to it,” Treñas, a member of the Liberal Party, said.
Progressive organizations also on Thursday held a commemoration program recognizing Ninoy’s struggle against the Marcos dictatorship. Members of the groups highlighted what they claimed were the glaring differences between the President and his father.
The groups Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Sanlakas and Kongreso ng Maralita ng Lungsod (KPML) converged at the Ninoy Aquino Monument in Quezon City where they offered flowers and held a program before marching toward the Aquino residence along Times Street to show their opposition to the President’s statements that he is interested in Charter change or Cha-cha.
“We may talk endlessly of the contributions of Ninoy in the struggle against the dictatorship and his selfless dedication to the ideals of a democratic nation but more important, we are compelled by a higher political circumstance to launch intensified mass actions for the reason that a looming dictatorship is in the offing,” lawyer Aaron Pedrosa, the national secretary general of Sanlakas, said.
“Noynoy’s recent pronouncements may not have come as a surprise since all the tell-tale signs were apparent since he commenced in August 2010 the zero-based budgeting approach, the precursor to his controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program and willingly turned himself into a fiscal dictator,” Pedrosa added.
“If Noynoy truly listens to his ‘bosses’ as he claims to do so, he should have clearly heard it by now that his concocted Charter Change and term extension [are]not the will of the people. [They are] also not the answer to widespread joblessness, uncontrollable price hikes of basic commodities and the dismal failure of his bureaucracy to address the needs of the nation,” he said.
Aquino’s dictatorial tendency, Pedrosa noted, “may have been fanned by his utter pigheadedness to salvage his declining popularity, the entire political system of patronage elite politics by resurrecting the pork barrel system in the 2015 budget and his own self from prosecution after his term ends in 2016.”
Gie Relova of BMP said ordinary wage-earners and taxpayers “will suffer the heaviest brunt if Noynoy succeeds in amending the Constitution.”
“Economically, our wages will continue to deteriorate, the government’s tactic is to depress wages to sub-human standards in order to attract investors. Truth be said, the Asean nations shall not compete in terms of superior products and services but shall compete only in lowering labor costs to get the nod of exploitative multinationals,” the labor leader said.
“We have suffered hard and long enough, we shall not back down. Aquino should expect the workers from the Makati skyscrapers to the mines of Surigao to the industrial enclaves of Calabarzon shall be the leading, most resolute and most militant section of the broad opposition against his Cha-Cha, term extension and pork barrel system,” he added.
Aquino, together with his sisters Viel, Ballsy and Kris commemorated Ninoy’s death anniversary at the Manila Memorial Park in Sucat, Parañaque City (Metro Manila) where a Mass was held.
The Ninoy Aquino Movement led by former senator Heherson Alvarez also held its annual commemorative ceremonies at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.