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Ex-pres Aquino joyful youth remember ‘Ninoy’

Posted by Abi Kwok on August 21, 2008

Urges unity vs ‘lack of moral clarity’

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 14:21:00 08/21/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Former president Corazon Aquino on Thursday said she was happy that young people who never knew her husband when he was alive have nevertheless embraced what he stood for.

A teary-eyed Aquino, speaking at a mass at the St. John Bosco parish church in Makati City to commemorate the 25th death anniversary of former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., also called on Filipinos to bring out the best in each other just as “Ninoy brought out the best in me, and I also brought out the best in Ninoy.”

The former senator, a leader of the political opposition to the Marcos dictatorship, was murdered at the Manila International Airport, which is now named after him, as police escorts whisked him off the plane that had taken him home from exile in the United States.

His death helped give birth to a massive protest movement that would eventually oust the dictator Ferdinand Marcos and replace him with Aquino’s widow, the first woman president of the country.

Mrs. Aquino, dressed in her signature yellow, steered clear of making any political statement but urged Filipinos to support each as a solution to the “malaise” and the “lack of moral clarity” gripping the country today.

“It is really difficult to ponder how young Filipinos who never really got to know Ninoy would retain something about him that would go beyond the name of the airport, the face in the P500 bill, and a paragraph in a history textbook,” she said.

“That is why it fills me with great joy to see young people, some of them not quite 25 yet, revisiting Ninoy and interpreting what he stood for in a fresh and contemporary perspective,” she said, as she gave her support to the “I Am Ninoy” campaign launched by the Benigno S. Aquino Foundation (BSFA).

The campaign hopes to use the sale of “collectible merchandise” to keep the memory and ideals of the former senator alive “through fashion, music, and film in a language understood by the youth,” according to BSFA executive director Rapa Lopa.

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