Lesson of EDSA is not just about gaining back our freedom by overthrowing a dictator but also using this freedom to inspire Filipinos to forge ahead towards progress – President Aquino
President Benigno S. Aquino III called on the Filipino people to look at the fruits borne out by the successful and bloodless ousting of a dictator 27 years ago as inspiration to drive our collective will towards reaping the rewards of freedom and forging on to achieve the country’s sustainable progress and inclusive growth.
In his speech delivered during rites marking the 27th Anniversary of the EDSA People Power held at the People Power Monument in the corner of Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue and White Plains Avenue in Quezon City, the President said it was high time Filipinos drop the cycle of “falling and rising” when dealing with adversaries threatening to disrupt their way of life in order to achieve success.
“Ang naiisip ko nga po minsan, parang nawili na tayo sa siklo ng pagbagsak at pagtindig, na tila ba hindi natin matanggap na maaari tayong dumiretso at umasenso, nang hindi muling nagagalusan, nang hindi muling naaapi, nang hindi muling nasasaktan. Mahirap nga pong aminin: eksperto man tayo sa pagbangon, tila nagkukulang tayo sa pagsulong at pag-asenso,” the President said.
“Ngayong dalawampu't pitong taon na tayong malaya mula sa tanikala ng diktadurya; ngayong nakaabante na tayo mula sa halos isang dekadang pagdausdos dahil sa pang-aabuso't panlalamang ng nakalipas na pamahalaan-- higit kailanman, dapat lamang na maikintal sa puso't isip ng bawat isa: Hindi natatapos ang laban sa pagbangon,” he added.
He underscored the importance of Filipinos joining fellow Filipinos in unity saying that a strong and solid Filipino force could stand up against any and all obstacles in its path towards progress.
“Kaya nga po, ngayong nakatindig na muli tayo sa ating dalawang paa, sama-sama naman tayong humakbang pasulong sa tuluyang pag-asenso. Tapos na ang panahon kung kailan ang Pilipino ay kuntentong nakapako sa lokasyon, nag-aabang ng susunod na tutulak sa kanya, nakaantabay sa susunod na pagkadapa. Ngayong nakabangon na tayo, halina't umusad na rin po tayo; halina't akayin ang kapwa't ituon ang paningin sa hinaharap; halina't pagpagin ang mga agam-agam at dumiretso tungo sa katuparan ng ating mga pangarap,” the President said.
“Iyan po ang aral na handog sa atin ng EDSA: Ang rebolusyong nagsauli ng demokrasya ay siya ring inspirasyon natin ngayon upang idiretso ang pag-asenso't pag-arangkada. Araw-araw po nating ipagdiwang ang dangal ng isang lahing hindi na muling babagsak, hindi na muling magpapaapi, hindi na lamang basta makukuntento sa kultura ng pagbangon; araw-araw po nating isapuso ang bagong kultura ng walang-dalawang-isip, walang-atubili, at walang-takot na pagsulong,” he added.
“Karapatan nating sumulong at umasenso. Obligasyon natin ang kaganapan nito,” he said.
Joining the President were Vice President Jejomar Binay, Cabinet members represented by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and members of the Senate and House represented by Senator Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte; respectively.
Prior to his speech, the President led the awarding of the Spirit of Edsa Foundation Awards (SOEFA), witnessed the presentation of a Pledge of Commitment by governors, and religious, business and youth representatives and the “Salubungan” rites depicting the occasion when the military, non-governmental organizations, religious, business, youth, government and basic sector representatives converged on EDSA to fight the dictator.
He was also accorded full military honors upon arriving at the venue. PND (rck)
President Aquino declares February 28 as special non-working day in Tangub, Misamis Occidental in celebration of its 45th Charter Anniversary
President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared February 28, which fall on a Thursday as a special non-working day in the city of Tangub in the province of Misamis Occidental, in celebration of its 45th Charter Anniversary.
The Chief Executive issued the declaration by virtue of Proclamation No. 550 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on February 13, to give the people of Tangub the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.
On June 17, 1967, Tangub became a chartered city by virtue of Republic Act No.5136. Since then, Tangub observes its charter anniversary on February 28 every year. PND (js)
President Aquino signs into law Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III signed into law the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 in ceremonies marking the 27th Anniversary of the EDSA People Power held at the EDSA People Power Monument in Quezon City on Monday.
In his speech, the President said the new law recognizes the heroism and sacrifices of Filipinos who were victims of summary execution, torture, enforced or involuntary disappearance and other gross human rights violations committed during the regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos from September 21, 1972 to February 25, 1986.
“Kaya nga po sa araw ding ito, nilagdaan natin ang Human Rights Victims Reparation Act of 2013 ---bilang pagkilala sa pagdurusang dinaanan ng napakarami noong Batas Militar, at upang ipakitang lumipas man ang henerasyon, hindi tayo panghihinaan ng loob sa pagtatama ng mga mali ng nakaraan,” the President said.
“Kabilang po ng iba pang mga nagsulong ng batas na ito, tiniyak nilang hindi man maibabalik ang panahon na ninakaw sa mga biktima ng Batas Militar, masisiguro naman ang pagkilala ng estado sa kanilang pinagdaanan, at nang sa gayon ay mailapit sila sa tuluyang paghihilom ng mga sugat ng nakaraan,” he added.
Under the new law, human rights victims and their heirs are entitled to monetary compensation to be sourced from the P10-billion transferred to the Philippines as adjudged by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court on December 10, 1997 and non-monetary compensation to be provided by the Departments of Social Welfare and Development, Education, CHED and TESDA and other government agencies. PND (rck)
Malacanang bares members of Transition Commission tasked to draft Bangsamoro Basic Law
President Benigno S. Aquino III has appointed the 15 members of the Transition Commission that is tasked to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda made the announcement at a press briefing in Malacanang on Monday.
On the part of the Government of the Philippines panel, the seven appointees are: Hon. Akmad A. Sakkam, Hon. Johaira C. Wahab, Hon. Talib A. Benito, Hon. Asani S. Tammang, Hon. Pedrito A. Eisma, Hon. Froilyn T. Mendoza, and Hon. Fatmawati T. Salapuddin.
Those selected by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are: Hon. Mohagher Iqbal, who is the chairman of the Transition Commission; Hon. Robert M. Alonto, Hon. Abdulla U. Camlian, Hon. Ibrahim D. Ali, Hon. Raissa H. Jajurie, Hon. Melanio U. Ulama, Hon. Hussein P. Munoz and Hon. Said M. Shiek.
Pursuant to Executive Order 120 series of 2013, the Transition Commission is composed of 15 members; seven to be chosen by the President and eight, including the chairman, selected by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
According to Lacierda, the seven appointees of the government panel underwent thorough screening and evaluation by a Transition Commission Selection Body composed of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles, and the Secretary of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Mehol Sadain.
Among the qualification requirements considered by the body for each appointee include: a Bangsamoro, a track record in support of the peace process, established probity, and untainted by any charge or suspicion of corruption or abuse of power.
“The appointment of these individuals who represent vital Bangsamoro constituencies and have proven their commitment to pursuing amity and goodwill in Muslim Mindanao is a key step on the roadmap to the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Political Entity,” Lacierda said.
“This is a manifestation of the seriousness of both the Philippine Government and the MILF to uphold the historic Framework Agreement and move forward in the peace process,” he added.
Lacierda said the transition commission has an initial budget allocation of P100 million. PND (jb)
President Aquino calls on the young to unite in protecting country’s democracy
President Benigno S. Aquino III called on the young to unite in protecting the country’s democracy that was restored by the EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986.
In his speech at the Tatak EDSA Salu-Salubungang Pambata held at the Kalayaan Grounds in Malacanang Palace on Monday, the Chief Executive said the future of democracy lies in the hands of children and youth.
"Ngayon ngang nagtagumpay na tayo at malaya sa diktador, inaasahan namin na kayong kabataan, pati na ang susunod na henerasyon, na gawin ang tama sa lahat ng oras," he said.
"Minsan ngang sinabi ng tatay ko, “The ball is now in your hands.” Ipinapasa niya na sa akin ang pagkakataon para mag-desisyon at gawin kung ano ang tama. Ngayon naman, turno kong sabihin sa inyo, 'Nasa kamay na ninyo ang kakayahan na gawin ang tama, at iwasan ang mali'," the President stressed.
President Aquino told the young participants, composed of children from various orphanages in the country, to remember the sacrifices of the Filipinos to end the oppressive Marcos regime. The bloodless People Power Revolution renewed the power of the people, strengthened the meaning of democracy, and restored the democratic institutions of government.
The true empowerment of democracy was exhibited in EDSA when Filipinos managed to successfully oust a tyrant through a demonstration without violence and bloodshed.
"Nagdesisyon ang milyun-milyong mga Pilipino—mga pari, madre, pulis, sundalo, estudyante’t maraming sibilyan—na dapat nang alisin ang nagpapahirap sa bayan. Sa loob ng apat na araw ng pagdarasal, paninindigan, at pagsasama-sama sa EDSA, tahimik at mapayapang nagwakasasan ang pakikipaglaban sa diktadurya," he said.
The President acknowledged the role of the youth in protecting our freedom and democracy.
"Umaasa akong magpapakabait kayo at iingatan ninyo and ipapamana naming malayang pamumuhay. Bilang responsableng kabataan, alam kong hindi kayo mandaraya sa mga test?" he said
"Tiwala akong hindi kayo mananahimik na lang kapag may nakita kayong mali. Alam kong tutulungan ninyo ang kapwa ninyong nangangailangan. Dahil kapag pinairal ninyo ang mabuting asal, siguradong mas magandang buhay ang naghihintay sa inyo sa hinaharap," he added.
In the afternoon, Malacanang opened the gates to welcome children from seven orphanages namely, Associacion de Demas Filipinas Inc., Dar Amanah Children's Village Foundation Inc., Bukas Palad Foundation of the Philippines, Casa Miani: San Jose, Sulyap ng Pag-Asa Foundation, Gawad Kalinga Baseco Compound and Families and Children for Employment and Development Foundation.
The program opened with storytelling activities imparting Filipino values to the children. The children watched performances and listened to the youth leaders who pledged to do their best to contribute to the country. PND (js)