“MAY we find inspiration in his tremendous love and faith to the Filipino people.”
This was what Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said as he paid tribute to the late senator and democracy icon Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., whose assassination was commemorated on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Labella said the late senator’s legacy continues to live on.
“It has been 38 years since Ninoy’s death, but his legacy lives on,” Labella said.
For City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco, he said the country needs people like Aquino to inspire people to be of help to others.
Cuenco said his father, the late Cebu City councilor and congressman Antonio Cuenco, was close to the late senator and the latter’s family.
The elder Cuenco and his wife sheltered Aquino’s wife, the late President Corazon Aquino, in Cebu on Feb. 22, 1986 following the results of the 1986 snap election, which declared strongman Ferdinand Marcos as the winner despite it being marred by fraud and manipulation.
The elder Cuenco also joined the 1986 protests, which ousted Marcos and replaced him with Aquino’s widow during the People Power Revolution, or Edsa Revolution.
The younger Cuenco said his father was even at the airport in Manila during the day Aquino was assassinated in 1983.
“I remember him crying as he spoke to my mother over the phone to relay the devastating news,” said Councilor Cuenco.
He said his father kept the letters he and the late senator exchanged during the latter’s exile in Boston.
“In these trying times, we need people like Ninoy to come back in spirit and inspire us to continue to live our lives in the service of others,” Cuenco added.
Two councilors from Mandaue City also paid tribute to the late senator.
City Councilors Cynthia Cinco-Remedio and Jimmy Lumapas said Ninoy Aquino Day continues to be relevant as it marks an important day in the country’s history.
For Remedio, Aquino’s famous words, “The Filipino is worth dying for,” are relevant now while the whole country battles the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, which has taken the lives of so many people.
She also sees the country’s frontliners to have the same dedication as that of Aquino who showed courage in the face of death so that others may live.
“To the late Senator Ninoy Aquino and to our frontliners, we owe you our gratitude,” she said.
For Lumapas, the late senator is remembered for his great sacrifice in order to give freedom back to the Filipinos.
“Former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. was an influential and inspirational Filipino political figure who fought for independence and a free democracy,” Lumapas added. (KFD)