Message of Vice President Leni Robredo on Ninoy Aquino Day
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. We remember why he was killed: For speaking truth to power. For believing that we deserve better as a people. For hoping, and acting on that hope, and being brave enough to lay down his life for that hope.
Most of all, we remember what his death meant for the entire nation. Sa halip na matakot, lalo tayong tumapang. Sa halip na sumuko, nagkaisa tayo at tumindig. In Ninoy’s death, we began to realize how we are all bound together— even more tightly during times of oppression, suffering, and crisis. Namulat tayong magkakarugtong ang diwa natin— na ang sistemang kayang pumaslang sa isa ay sistemang kayang pumaslang sa lahat. In this realization, we found solidarity; we found the strength to take the first steps towards a freer, fairer, more humane society; we found hope, and the courage to stake our lives on that hope, just as he did.
Ninoy believed in a better future for Filipinos even when it was not easy. Through long years of imprisonment, separation from his family, suffering, and exile, he clung to the unshakeable belief that the dark night would pass and dawn would break over the land he loved. This is a sentiment that we all hold— that things should be better, and things can get better. Our strength as a nation emanates from our collective resolve to do what we can to move towards this better horizon.
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.