MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte urged his fellow government workers Wednesday to mirror the life of former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. as the country marks his death.
Duterte said he hopes Aquino’s life will inspire public servants to serve with honor and purpose.
“I also hope that Ninoy’s remarkable life as a public servant will move my fellow government workers to serve with honor, integrity and purpose as well as inspire our youth to be of service to their country and fellowmen,” he said in a message.
“Let his example guide us as we strive to uplift and protect the most vulnerable in our society and ensure that all Filipinos will enjoy the blessings of freedom, democracy and the rule of law,” he said.
Aquino, a modern-day icon of democracy, was assassinated on Aug. 21, 1983. The incident is commemorated yearly in the country as Ninoy Aquino Day and is declared as a special non-working holiday.
A staunch critic of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law regime, Aquino was shot upon his arrival at the Manila International Airport, which was later renamed after him in his honor.
Duterte also hailed Aquino’s role in restoring democracy in the Philippines.
“His sacrifice altered the course of our nation’s history and still continues to ignite the spirit of heroism among our people,” the President said.
“May this auspicious occasion remind us of what we had lost so that we may remain committed to our solemn duty to safeguard the freedoms that we now enjoy,” he said.