By Junex Doronio
APPARENTLY POSITIONING as the viable opposition standard bearer for 2022 presidential elections, Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday said the people should draw inspiration from the life and struggles of former Sen, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. who was assassinated at the then Manila International Airport 37 years ago.
She pointed out that with the assassination of the then opposition leader to the Marcos 20-year regime, there was some sort of awakening among many Filipinos that the death of one person can somehow be experienced by anyone.
“Namulat tayong magkakarugtong ang diwa natin—na ang sistemang kayang pumaslang sa isa ay sistemang kayang pumaslang sa lahat,” Robredo said.
The Vice President said that Ninoy was killed “for speaking truth to power; for believing that we deserve better as a people; and for hoping, and acting on that hope, and being brave enough to lay down his life for that hope.”
“Every year, on August 21, we remember Senator Ninoy Aquino. We remember his death: How he was murdered before he even set foot on the tarmac, coming home from exile to continue the struggle for our freedoms and dignities,” Robredo stressed.
Before his death, Ninoy Aquino had been the leading opposition figure to his own fraternity brother, strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr.
On August 21, 1971 Aquino escaped being maimed or killed in the Plaza Miranda bombing when he arrived late in the miting de avance of the Liberal Party. The dastardly bombing — hatched by the Communist Party of the Philippines but blamed on Marcos — according to reliable souces and confirmed by retired Gen. Victor Corpus who had joined the NPA and also the late Sen. Jovito Salonga — caused nine deaths and injured 95 others, including many prominent LP politicians, including Salonga.
“Today, as we endure yet another dark night, we draw inspiration from Ninoy’s story: From his courage, from his steadfast faith in our people, from his heroism. Kaisa ako ng buong sambayanang Pilipino sa paggunita sa kabayanihan ni Ninoy Aquino,” Robredo said.