“Never take democracy for granted” — PNoy

Outgoing President Benigno Aquino III has reminded the Filipinos to guard and protect the country’s hard-fought freedom in light of the 118th celebration of the Philippine Independence Day.

Screen shot Aquino delivering his speech during the 118th Philippine Independence Day
Screen shot Aquino delivering his speech during the 118th Philippine Independence Day Vin D’ Honneur, June 12.

During his speech at the vin d’honneur in Malacañang, Aquino made his last plea to never take democracy for granted and encouraged the public to take an active role in defending freedom.

Aquino emphasized the importance of freedom which he said was once stolen by a Filipino fellow, referring to the late President Ferdinand Marcos.

 ”Ididiin ko po: Nangyari na ito. Minsan nang inagaw ng kapwa natin Pilipino ang ating kalayaan. Ibig sabihin, kung hindi tayo magiging mapagmatyag, maaari itong mangyari muli,” he said.

He also warned the public against the return of dictatorship and the demise of democracy in a thinly veiled reference to the incoming administration of Rodrigo Duterte, who has vowed of an iron-fist approach in curbing criminality and illegal drugs.

 ”Ngayong papasok tayo sa panibagong kabanata ng ating kasaysayan, nawa’y hindi natin malimot: Ang kalayaan, kailangang bantayan at alagaan. Ang lahat ng mahalaga, kailangang pagsikapan; kailangang ipaglaban,” he said.

”Naipakita na nating kaya nating ipaglaban ang demokrasya. Naipakita na nating kaya nating bawiin ang inagaw na demokrasya. Ngayon, napatunayan natin: Kaya nating paganahin ang demokrasya para sa ikabubuti ng ating mga mamamayan,” Aquino added.

Aquino then quoted writer Edmund Burke, “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

According to the outgoing President, with the death of his father, millions awakened and became aware of the truth. This ultimately led to the People Power Revolution of 1986 that toppled Marcos’ dictatorship and restored the democracy in the country.

”Tunay po na ang People Power ang bumawi sa demokrasya. Ang People Power ang naging tulay ng people empowerment. Ang People Power ang nagbalik sa gobyerno sa tunay nitong mandato: Ang arugain at bigyang lakas ang taumbayan,” Aquino said. (RA Gonzales)

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