First Death Anniversary of Former President Corazon C. Aquino

Speech of His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Philippines

At the First Death Anniversary of Former President Corazon C. Aquino

[August 1, 2010, La Salle Greenhills]

A year ago today, many of you shared our grief when our mother passed away.
The days we spent here in La Salle were marked with sadness. What gave us the strength to endure it was the love and sympathy from you, our dear friends, who joined us in bidding our mother goodbye one last time.
Her long struggle against cancer was over, and with it, I thought, the hope that she embodied for our country.
What we did not expect was that in the coming days, our feeling of loss would reverberate throughout the nation.
We all witnessed it together: long queues of mourners enduring the heat and occasional rain outside this campus; folks traveling from other provinces and sleeping on flattened cardboard boxes; Filipinos from all walks of life coming in droves for five days – in La Salle, Ayala Avenue, Manila Cathedral and in the 9 hour procession to Manila Memorial Park. That true expression of love for our mother soon evolved into a renewed hope for our long-suffering nation.
It is still quite difficult to grasp how one person’s death could have such a huge impact on our nation in such a short time. However, Cory Aquino was one extraordinary woman who, in so many milestones in her life, had already made the impossible possible.
Napakarami pong nangyari sa loob lamang ng isang taon. Ang pagpanaw ng ina namin ang siyang nagtulak sa napakaraming taong pilitin at hamunin akong tumakbo bilang pangulo. Sa pagbababang luksa natin, sa tulong ng Maykapal at sa balikat ng taumbayan, ako po ay narito ngayon bilang inyong Pangulo.
For those who came before us and taught us – by words and deeds – how to love, live, and believe, it is our duty to bear the torch forward. Tinanggap ko ang hamon alang-alang sa ipinaglaban ng aking mga magulang. Ipagpapatuloy ko ito sa tulong ninyo.
The clamor of our people for change is so deep, and so widely expressed, that none of us can afford to be bystanders. Each of us has a duty to fulfill our Social Contract with the Filipino People by putting the interests of others before ourselves.
We can only end poverty if we fight corruption, and this is where everyone has a major role to play. It can be done in simple ways, by showing common courtesy to strangers, by paying taxes, by following traffic rules and by disposing of our waste properly. I will soon be living by the Pasig River, which used to be a major thoroughfare. Its degradation will serve as a daily reminder to me of how careless we can be about our environment. This, too, is a form of corruption.
Does it take that much to stop our neighbors from further destroying these resources?
We can do even more by reporting any wrongdoing that might be brought to our attention. Let us challenge ourselves and our leaders to brave the straight path. Naumpisahan na natin sa pamamagitan ng pagpatay ng mga wang wang, at pagpigil sa mga naghaharian sa daan. Sana naman po, sa ilan pang pagkakataon ay susunod pa rin kayo at itutuloy ang maganda nating nasimulan.
Paalala po: hindi madali ang ating trabaho, sapagkat may ilan na ipinaglalaban pa rin ang nakagisnan nilang mali. Subalit hindi ko pababayaan ang tiwalang ipinagkaloob niyo at ang pagkakataong ito na isulong ang makabuluhang pagbabago.
I have already laid out some of our plans in my State of the Nation address, from public-private partnerships to the laws we need to pass. There is real and growing interest from various sectors in our efforts to rebuild and to expand. The challenge is to convince those who want to support us that we are fair, just and sincere in our intentions to help our country. We can do this, if we live our lives trying to emulate Cory Aquino’s example in our service to our country and to our fellowmen.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who helped us get to where we are now, and are still with us in the more difficult part of the journey towards change. You make it easier for us to overcome the hardships we face each day. May your number increase as your efforts persist. I hope that when the time comes to seek your help once again, I can still count on your support.
Nung pumanaw po ang ating ina, nag-umpisa sa kadiliman, napunta sa liwanag. Lahat ay muling umasa at nangarap. Ngayon isang taon na pagkatapos po noon, minumungkahi ko po, tara na po sa tunay na katarungan.
Tara na po sa ganap na kaayusan at kaunlaran.
Tara na po sa kasaganaan para sa lahat.
Tara na po, sa tuwid na landas.
Tara na po sa kaganapan ng pinangarap nina Ninoy at Cory.

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