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Aquino thanks Duterte for tribute to Ninoy

By: Martin A. Sadongdong

Former President Benigno S. Aquino III yesterday thanked President Duterte for his heartfelt message to his father, Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino Jr., during his 34th death anniversary yesterday.

However, Aquino urged Duterte to take time to read his own message and reflect on it.

Former President Benigno Aquino III gives a message during the commemoration of the 34th death anniversary of his father,  tomb of his father, ex-Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. at the Manila Memorial Park in Sucat, Paranaque on Monday, August 21, 2017. The late senator was assassinated on August 21, 1983 at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport which has been renamed after him. (JAY GANZON)

Former President Benigno Aquino III gives a message during the commemoration of the 34th death anniversary of his father, tomb of his father, ex-Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. at the Manila Memorial Park in Sucat, Paranaque on Monday, August 21, 2017. The late senator was assassinated on August 21, 1983 at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport which has been renamed after him. (JAY GANZON)

“Sana, kunware, iwan niya sa mesa niya, time to time basahin niya dahil parang napaka-heartfelt naman ng sinabi, ma-remind. Ako marami ako dating babasahin na iniiwan sa drawer sa mesa sa opisina ko dahil palagay ko magandang-maganda yung sinabi at kailangan tandaan,” Aquino said in a message during the commemoration at the Manila Memorial Park in Sucat, Parañaque City.

Duterte had said that Ninoy “fought for what is right and just” throughout his career.

“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 his career, he fought for what is right and just. Up until the very end of his life, he inspired a peaceful revolution that resulted into the liberties we enjoy today,” Duterte said.

“Even at a time when hope was lost, he remained steadfast in his struggle to restore democracy through non-violent means. 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,” he added.

Meanwhile, Aquino said he also felt and compared the pain experienced by Lorenza delos Santos, the mother of 17-year-old Grade 11 student Kian delos Santos, who was killed on allegations that he resisted arrest in the government’s war against drugs in Caloocan City last week.

“Masakit lang kako kahit 34 years na tapos baka bumalik yung tatay mo, makita kayo, hindi tapos ‘di ba? Parang hindi malinaw eh, parang ‘yon pa rin ba ang pinoproblema natin?” Aquino said, referring to the seemingly never-ending issue on democracy.

“Ano bang makikita ng tatay ko? Binabasa ko po ‘yung storya ni Kian delos Santos sa mga dyaryo na nakikita ko, sa CCTV doon nakita ang pangyayari. Nabasa ko lang ho ‘yung pahayag ng nanay, isang OFW. Sabi niya, hindi ko alam kung tama talaga ako sa nabasa ko, wala raw dapat magulang na maglilibing sa sarili niyang anak,” he added.

Aquino said Lorenza’s situation is similar to what his grandmother, Aurora Lampa Aquino, felt about the death of his father, who was gunned down at the tarmac of then Manila International Airport (now the Ninoy Aquino International Airport) on August 21, 1983.

“Maalala ko lang ho 34 years ago, ang lola ko, nanay ng aking ama, isa sa tinitingala na para bang sa Ingles ho ‘source of strength,”’ he stated.

“Noong araw pong iyon siyempre nasa airport siya sasalubungin niya yung anak niya, ganadong-ganado siya makita, matagal tagal niya pong ‘di nakita. Tapos nandoon na po siya sa grounds sa airport kung saan binalita sa kanyang napaslang nga ang aking ama.”

Aquino called on Duterte to conduct a thorough and speedy investigation to give justice to the grim death of Kian.

“Nagugulpi pa, nakikiusap na ano bang sabi ‘Bukas may pasok pa ako.’ Nakakagimbal. Pero pinaroroonan naman tayo dahil trabaho natin bilang mambabatas muna bilang pangulo ay kailangan ng imbestigasyong kaukulan para naman hindi haka-haka ang mangyari. Ngayon ang importante sa imbestigasyon ay ‘wag naman umabot ng pagkatagal-tagal. ‘Yung matagal na imbestigasyon imbes na nagpapalinaw, eh nagpapalabo,” he disclosed.

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