that Continue the Legacy
of Ninoy Aquino
By Tynne De Leon
The Republic Act No. 2956 of 2004 declares August 21st as “Ninoy Aquino Day” in commemoration of former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino Jr’s death anniversary. After years of media coverage and attention, we’re familiar with his legacy—the sacrifices that were made that helped shape our history as a nation and as a people; the effects of which are still felt to this day. Here are 8 people who continue to remind us of Ninoy’s spirit and beliefs.
8. Noynoy Aquino
When someone mentions Ninoy Aquino, our recent ex-president will always be top of mind. Former president Noynoy had his father’s heroism as a very tough act to follow, and has spent the last six years trying to live by his example, because that was what people expected of him. While PNoy’s presidency has drawn mixed reactions from the country, we do hope he has made his father proud.
7. Dick Gordon
Someone said that Dick Gordon is just like Ninoy Aquino, but more aggressive and eloquent. If Ninoy were alive today, we figure they’d either be bffs or totally clashing bodies.
6. Sergio Osmena III
Apart from being widely-known for their anti-Marcos positions, Ninoy and Serge have a lot more in common. For starters, they were both raised from political families, thus thoroughly exposed to the rough-and-tumble world of politics. As senators, they both speak with great intellect, were fiercely democratic, and aimed to improve the lives of the Filipino people. They were both exiled during the Marcos era, but that didn’t stop them from wanting to change the status quo.
5. Teddy Casino
A well-known leftist since college, Teddy was elected national president of the College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines in 1991 and was a National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) volunteer in 1986. Teddy, like Ninoy, has a number of journalistic accomplishments–including being one of the young leaders of EDSA 2. His sharp sense and unapologetic opinions make him one of the most vocal government critics today.
4. Orly Mercado
Like any other bold commentator, Orly was detained for ten months after the declaration of Martial Law. He obtained many accolades from broadcast media, including the Top Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in 1978. Like Ninoy Aquino, he pursued politics after his stint in journalism; his positions include being a senator and member of the cabinet.
3. Antonio Trillanes
He has been bashed countless times, but still he stands firm in his calling: to serve the Filipino people. His reckless accusations and criticism of certain sectors, especially his recent tirade against a draconian government, remind us of the active opposition days of Ninoy Aquino. They both love their country so much that even being behind bars didn’t stop them from fighting for it.
2. Neri Colmenares
Who doesn’t know Colmenares after that “Col Me” ad last May? As his ads imply, he has been actively fighting for the rights of Martial Law victims (with his call sign #FighterNgBayan) as he was also detained and tortured during Marcos’ time. His constant criticism against Martial Law reminds us of the fearless Ninoy Aquino who formed and led the opposition against Ferdinand Marcos almost five decades ago. Both were exposed to politics at an early age, thus awakening their political senses and forming bold and critical opinions against the government. Although both are from different walks of life, their commitment to the Filipino people truly makes them remarkable.
1. Jesse Robredo
With his simple nature and untarnished public service record, Jesse Robredo has been compared to the likes of Nelson Mandela. But it was not until his untimely death and his wife’s move into the political limelight that we also saw history repeating itself. After all, it was Ninoy who inspired Robredo to take the political route, awakening his patriotism and belief in the importance of democracy. Jesse was even among the huge crowd that marched through Manila during Aquino’s funeral, and has since then joined protest movements against Ferdinand Marcos. Coincidentally, they both died in the month of August.
Which Pinoys remind you of Ninoy Aquino?