De Lima urges Filipinos to continue fighting for democracy

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In commemoration of the 35th death anniversary of former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. today, Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has called on Filipinos to remember his heroism and continue the fight for democracy that he started decades ago.

De Lima, the first prominent political prisoner under the present administration, said Filipinos should always be reminded of Aquino’s courage now that the reign of Mr. Duterte continues to threaten the country’s democracy.

“Ang pagpaslang po kay Ninoy ay nag-iwan ng hamon sa mga Pilipino noon na ipaglaban ang demokrasya, na siyang tinugunan ng makasaysayang People Power sa EDSA. Muli tayong hinahamon sa madilim na namang kabanata ng ating kasaysayan,” she said in an official statement.

“Bilang mga tagapagmana ng demokrasyang ipinaglaban ni Ninoy at ng milyon-milyong Pilipino, ituloy natin ang pagtindig, ang pagkakapit-bisig at pagsasama-sama ng ating tinig para sa ipaglaban ang katotohanan at katarungan sa ating Inang Bayan,” she added.

Aquino was among those arrested in 1973 shortly after the imposition of martial law in the Philippines and was incarcerated for seven years.

Following a heart attack, he was allowed to leave for the United States for medical treatment and returned to the Philippines on Aug. 21, 1983 when he was assassinated at the Manila International Airport.

His death inspired many Filipino people to rise up and overthrow the oppressive regime of then President Ferdinand Marcos and later on catapulted his widow, Corazon Aquino, to presidency.

The Senator from Bicol said the oppressors may have been successful in killing Ninoy Aquino but they failed to kill his advocacies and principles.

“Sa halip na matakot, milyon-milyon ang nakiramay at nagkalakas ng loob na manindigan; sa halip na manatiling manhid at magbulag-bulagan, naging mas mulat sila sa kahabag-habag na kalagayan ng bansa sa ilalim ni Marcos, na kalaunan ay nagbunsod sa pagpapatalsik sa diktador,” she said.

“Sa makabuluhang legasiya na iniwan ni Ninoy para sa ating demokrasya, hindi nakapagtatakang hanggang ngayon, may ilan pa ring nagtatangkang dungisan ang kanyang alaala, ibaon sa limot ang kanyang mga ipinaglaban, at baligtarin ang kasaysayan gamit ang mga propaganda,” she added.

De Lima said Duterte’s rise to power becomes reminiscent of the fascist dictatorship, considering that more than 23,000 have already been killed under his administration’s all-out war on drugs roughly two years since he assumed presidency.

“Ngayon nga po, mayroon na namang diktador na pinuno ang bansa na promotor ng karahasan at patayan, walang galang sa Konstitusyon at nuknukan ng sinungaling,” she said.

“At gaya ng nagdaang diktador, nais lang ni Duterte na ipasa ang kapangyarihan sa mga kaalyadong tiyak na palulusutin siya sa pananagutan sa batas, at sa pinunong hanggang ngayon ay hindi umaako sa kasalanan ng kanilang pamilya para makabalik sa kapangyarihan,” she added.

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
Rm. 502 & 16 (New Wing 5/F) GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City

Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
807-8489 / (Rm. 16) 807-8580 /local 8619

[email protected]

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