De Lima remembers Cory, encourages Filipinos to fight against injustices

As Filipinos commemorate the 8th death anniversary of Corazon "Cory" Aquino today, Senator Leila M. de Lima today asked her countrymen to honor and remember the former President's deeds and follow her lead.

De Lima, a passionate advocate for women's rights and human dignity, said it is high time to remind Filipinos of Aquino's courage now as President Rodrigo Duterte's leadership threatens the country's democracy.

"Walong taon man ang nakalipas, nananatiling inspirasyon natin ang kanyang tatag at tapang ng loob bilang ina, asawa, Pangulo, at Pilipinong may malasakit sa Pilipino," De Lima said, referring to Cory Aquino.

"Ngayong nasa yugto tayong muli ng mala-diktador na gobyerno, hahayaan ba nating patuloy na sagasaan ang ating mga karapatan? Hanggang kailan natin maaatim ang unti-unting pagkitil sa demokrasya? Ngayon, higit kailanman, kailangan nating buhayin ang pagkakaisang tuwinang nagpapalaya sa bansa mula sa malupit at baluktot na pamamahala," she said.

The first woman president of the Philippines who served from 1986 to 1992, Aquino is the most prominent figure of the 1986 People Power Revolution. She led the country's eventful transition from dictatorship to democracy by putting an end to the 21-year authoritarian rule of then President Ferdinand Marcos.

Aquino, Time magazine's "Woman of the Year" in 1986, gained the presidency following the assassination of her husband, Patriarch and former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., a freedom fighter who is known as the arch nemesis of Marcos.

In tough times like this wherein Duterte's rise to power becomes reminiscent of the fascist dictatorship, De Lima said Filipinos should be inspired by Cory Aquino's leadership at the very least, and start standing up against an extremist leader.

"Sa bawat mura at pagbalewala sa buhay, isipin natin ang mga pamilyang tuluyang naulila ng ama, ina, kapatid, asawa at hirap na hirap makahanap ng hustisya; sa bawat kasinungalingan, isipin natin ang mga kababayan nating inosente subalit patuloy na nagdurusa habang ang mga tunay na maysala ay malaya pa ring nakapanlilinlang; sa bawat sandali ng panatisismo at pagbubulag-bulagan, alalahanin natin ang mga bayaning nagbuwis ng buhay para imulat ang Pilipino sa katotohanan," she said.

"Isipin po natin ang isang Cory Aquino, na sa kabila ng mabigat na pagsubok na ibangon ang bayan mula sa katiwalian at kahirapan, at ng mga tangkang pabagsakin ang kanyang administrasyon, ay nanatiling nasa tamang lugar ang puso para pangunahan ang bansa sa landas ng pag-unlad at katarungan," she added.

From the case of de Lima, who is now detained due to trumped-up drug charges fabricated by the Duterte administration, to the declaration of martial law in the entire Mindanao island due to the ongoing clashes between government troops and Maute group terrorists in Marawi City, Duterte's leadership indeed poses a risk to democracy.

With this, De Lima has called out to her fellow Filipinos: "Sama-sama, nagkakaisa, ituloy po natin ang laban ng People Power para sa kinabukasan ng ating mga anak at ng susunod na henerasyon ng Pilipino."

Since the government-led all-out war on illegal drugs has commenced in July last year, more than 8,000 people have already been killed - both from legitimate police operations and vigilante-style executions.

De Lima is considered as the first prominent political prisoner under the present Duterte regime. While in detention, she continues to fight against injustices and for the freedom of this country.

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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