Cebu officials remember Ninoy, hope to bring back patriotism

By Bernadette A. Parco
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
CEBU CITY — Three decades since former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. was killed in Manila, the country still suffers the same problems, a lawyer active in the fight against the Marcos Government said.
“We can’t change society overnight. Many problems still exist but we have minimized corruption under the present administration,” said lawyer Democrito Barcenas.
Post your condolences to DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo’s family
Ninoy Aquino, the father of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, was an opposition leader who was killed at the Manila International Airport tarmac on August 23, 1983 upon his return to the country after living in exile in the US.
Barcenas said corruption is no longer the top issue of the government.
He attended the Cebu City Government-led commemoration at Plaza Independencia of the 29th death anniversary of Ninoy Aquino at the Plaza Independencia.
The event was attended by government officials, employees, students and urban poor groups.
“Today, there is a new sense of discovery of the people to make a difference,” said Barcenas.
He was referring to the resignation of Merceditas Gutierrez from the Office of the Ombudsman and the impeachment of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Cebu City Mayor Micheal Rama told reporters that the commemoration is aimed at bringing back patriotism among today’s children.
“We were there when Martial Law was enforced. When Ninoy came, that was the real awakening. We wanted to bring back the dreams of our forefathers,” he said.
A “freedom walk” was held Tuesday afternoon from from Fuente Osmeña to Plaza Independencia.
Most of the participants, including Barcenas and former congressman Antonio Cuenco, wore yellow shirts, carried yellow balloons and waved banners bearing the pictures of Ninoy Aquino.
Among the students who attended the event was Cebu Normal University student Jhanyn Marie Ardita, who referred to Ninoy Aquino as an icon of heroism.
“Hero siya kay siya man ang ni-against sa gobyerno ni Marcos before. Nakaila ko niya kay sa history si Ninoy man tong gi-assassinate didto sa airport unya papa pa gyud siya sa atong presidente karon (I know Ninoy as the one who assassinated at the airport and as the father of our president today),” she told Sun.Star Cebu.
Adonis Pelin, a student from Asian College of Technology, said he joined the activity because it was required of him as a scholar of the Cebu City Government.
“Niapil ko karun kay scholar man ko pero kung wala pa gi-required murag dili siguro ko muari karon (If I were not a scholar, I wouldn’t be here),” Pelin said.
Cuenco said he attended the activity to represent the Aquino family.
He said they also console with the family of the late Department of Interior and Local Government secretary Jesse Robredo.
“Robredo is one of the best, a five-star Cabinet member,” he said.
Cuenco told the participants he was in the holding area of the airport when Ninoy was shot.
He was with opposition leaders, including the late Sen. Lorenzo Tañada, Ambrosio Padilla and the mother of Ninoy, Doña Aurora Aquino.
“We did not expect him to be killed,” said Cuenco. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 22, 2012.

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