‘Ninoy's death his birth to immortality’-A A +A
Thursday, August 22, 2013
BACOLOD City joined the entire nation in remembering national hero and former Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino on his 30th death anniversary Wednesday.
Considered as the person who selflessly offered his life for the freedom and democracy of the Filipinos and his beloved country, Aquino was remembered by the local Liberal Party for his “extraordinary nationalism and heroism whose death has overthrown the dictatorship in the country led by then strongman president Ferdinand Marcos.”
On August 23, 1983, as he deplaned from a trip abroad, Aquino was shot to death which had shaken the nation and its people. That incident has triggered the birth of democracy in the country.
Councilor Archie Baribar, Liberal Party chairman of the Political Committee and who was part of the August Twenty One Movement (Atom), on Wednesday recalled that August 21 had made the difference in the lives of the Filipino people.
“But before that, the struggle for liberation was a struggle identified with the poor people, with the impoverished and with the marginalized. After that incident, middle class and the upper class joined forces and it was a formidable force.”
Baribar said many of our people and many Negrosanons then had a very cold shoulder to parliament of the streets. But after August 21, "we had a new definition.
Struggle was not left to our ordinary people but was joined by the middle and upper classes in Bacolod City.
This has also led to the creation of Atom and there was a counterpart in Bacolod called The Group of 21, composed of professionals, landowners, and ordinary people, the likes of Dr. Patricio Tan, lawyer Mildred and Fred Flyder, Deteng Estacio, and all labor leaders and urban poor.
"We vowed to have a rally every 21st day of the month. At first, not all of us were convinced that we can do it, we felt that it was an impossible task, but we did it. We saw how our ordinary people responded and it was an addition to the swelling ranks until we have a very substantial number which called the attention of the widow, the late President Corazon ‘Cory’ Aquino to come over,” he recalled.
Beginning which has no end
It was a beginning that has no end. It was a beginning that until today, we continue to struggle. It is a beginning that the Liberal Party, composed mainly of nationalists will continue to thrive and struggle.
August 21, Ninoy Aquino died, August 21, 1983, Ninoy Aquino was born to immortality,” Baribar said.
Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella, in his message, said that "while we are celebrating a very memorable day in our democratic history, many of our brothers and sisters who also remembered this day apparently suffer from the worst storm that the flooded Luzon area.
I hope that Manila can come back from its misery after few days of endless floodings and terrible life never seen for many years." He said that we all thank God that Bacolod and Negros were spared from the disaster.
Going to the dogs, again
Puentevella added that if Ninoy Aquino were alive today, he will be turning from his graveyard because after 30 years of struggle and offered his life for our freedom.
"I am sure that if Ninoy Aquino is alive, he will shout at the Senate and Congress because what he had faced 30 years ago, that he thought will change and be transformed, are going to the dogs again. August 21 reminds us to continue the fight," he said.
He assured the Liberal party that they will do their share in effecting change in Bacolod City. But we would need everybody's help.
"I am glad that Atty. Andy Hagad is back in Bacolod and I am asking to help the city. The struggle of Ninoy will be put to waste if we will not continue the struggle. The Philippines now is suffering from a terrible disease in governance. The Senate and Congress are going to the dogs. I hope that in our own little way, we can effect change in our local governance. Given by God's blessing, we will accomplish that mission."
Puentevella also Negrenses and Bacoleños not only to pray for Ninoy Aquino but to the woman he learned to love in his years in Congress, Corazon Aquino.
She was instrumental why we are celebrating and enjoying our democracy today, he said. Also joining the celebration yesterday were Bacolod councilors Sonya Verdeflor, Kalaw Puentevella, Ana Marie Palermo, Jun Gamboa and Jocelle Batapa-Sigue.
They offered a wreath to the statue of Ninoy Aquino standing in the midean island near the old Bacolod airport. They lit candles and sang “Ang Bayan Ko” led by a blind diva Annie Rose Britania.
They likewise set on air balloons to symbolize freedom and democracy that Ninoy Aquino has offered in exchange for his life and family.
Puentevella further enjoined everyone to show to others that the Filipinos are truly worth dying.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 22, 2013.