BY CARLA P. GOMEZ
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday that the life of Ninoy Aquino should serve as an example to Filipinos to be vigilant and disciplined in the face of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
The nation yesterday marked Ninoy Aquino Day, a non-working holiday observed annually to commemorate the assassination of former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. on the tarmac of the Manila International Airport (now the Ninoy Aquino International Airport) on his return to the Philippines from exile in the United States on Aug. 21, 1983.
Lacson said, “While the fear we are confronted with right now may be different from the fear the Filipinos had back then, the life of Ninoy Aquino should rouse us to be resolute in our purpose to be vigilant, disciplined and accountable in all our actions, particularly in the face of a dangerous and unseen virus.”
May the boldness of the senator to remain steadfast in his cause despite the insurmountable odds against a strong authority give us renewed sense of purpose as a people, the governor said.
When the senator decided to return to the Philippines “fully aware of the dangers awaiting him, he presented the courage our country desperately needed in a time of fear,” Lacson added.
About 80 members of the Federation of the Urban Poor in Negros Occidental marked the Ninoy Aquino Day by praying and laying yellows flowers at the foot of his statue at Araneta Street in Bacolod City yesterday morning.
“We paid respects and honored Ninoy for the inspiration and life he offered to all Filipinos,” Joy Jarabelo, Fed-Up provincial coordinator, said.
They also braved COVID-19 and the terror law to offer prayers for the country as inspired by Aquino, she said.
Despite the COVID pandemic, we assert our freedom and duty to censure our government, to do the right thing, to do better for our country, she said.
“We cannot afford to allow this country to crumble right before our eyes with the abuses of authority and resources of the government,” Jarabelo said.
Corruption, killings and threats by government leaders are rampant, she said.
The top administrator of this country, who went on perpetual isolation, is declaring war against the very people he should serve by threatening them through media closure, passage of the terror law, killings of activists, and declaring war against the health care providers who sacrificed much in this pandemic, she said.
“We are losing our treasures, the doctors and health care providers, to the pandemic due to inadequate response of government to their needs like PPEs, transportation, temporary shelter, and food assistance,: she added.
“We don’t want to topple this government but we want to remind them to observe the rule of law,” she said.*