By Gabriela Baron
Senators marked the 36th death anniversary of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. with detained Senator Leila de Lima praising him for choosing to be with the Filipino during a dark chapter in the history.
“Ninoy knew that a death sentence was waiting for him in the Philippines but still opted to return to fight for democracy and end the violence brought by Martial Law and Marcos’ authoritarian rule.”
She added that Aquino’s principle served as a motivation and inspiration to the Filipinos during the dark time in the Philippine history.
“Pinili pa rin n’yang lumaban. Pinili pa rin n’yang manindigan kaysa magbulag-bulagan sa tunay na estado ng bansa,”
(He still chose to fight. He still chose to stand his ground rather than turning a blind eye to the injustices that was happening in the Philippines.)
De Lima reminded Filipinos to always fight for freedom with determination and faith.
Senator Francis Pangilinan dubbed Aquino as a “brave public servant”.
“Kabilang si Ninoy Aquino sa iilang tumayo sa diktadura. Ang pagpatay sa kanya ay isang mahalagang sandali para sa ating demokrasya.” He said.
(Ninoy Aquino was one of the few who fight dictatorship. His death played a pivotal role in restoring the democracy in our country.)
Senator Risa Hontiveros recalled she was at school in 1983 when she heard that Aquino was assassinated.
“I was stunned. He had given up his life to come home to fight for democracy.”
Former senator and Ninoy’s nephew Bam Aquino called this day a remembrance of bravery, sacrifice, and love for the country.
“Isang pag-aalala sa tapang, sakripisyo, at pagmamahal sa bayan.”
The 1983 assassination of Ninoy Aquino sparked protests and mobilizations that eventually ended the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986.
Republic Act 9256 declared August 21 every year as “Ninoy Aquino Day”, a non-working holiday nationwide to commemorate the death of Aquino.