Commemorating the 38th death anniversary of Philippine democracy icon Benigno Aquino “Ninoy” Aquino, President Rodrigo Duterte urged Filipinos to act for the common good over their personal interests.

“As Filipinos, let us honor his legacy by showing our capacity to sacrifice our personal interests for the common good. May this sacrifice inspire all of us to be resilient and undaunted by challenges, especially now that we are still dealing with Covid-19,” the president said in a statement.

Duterte said Ninoy Aquino Day this year was more timely with the passing of the democracy icon’s son and his presidential predecessor, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

“Let us all draw strength from Ninoy’s selflessness and let us take the lessons from our storied and colorful past so that we may truly value, learn and appreciate who we are today as a nation,” he added.

Meanwhile, Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo urged Filipinos to ponder on Aquino’s sacrifice and how it changed the course of Philippine history.

“Binibigyang-pugay natin ngayon ang tapang ni Ninoy nang pinili niyang talikuran ang pansariling kaginhawaaan upang ialay ang kanyang buhay sa ngalan ng ating kalayaan. Sakripisyo itong bumago sa takbo ng ating kasaysayan,” Robredo said.

The vice president also praised Ninoy, Noynoy and Cory Aquino for their efforts for the betterment of Filipinos’ lives.

“Si Ninoy, nanindigan na the Filipino is worth dying for; si President Cory, na the Filipino is worth living for; kay PNoy, the Filipino is worth fighting for. Namatay, nabuhay, at lumaban silang tatlo dahil sa iisang adhikain: Ang adhikain ng lipunang tumatamasa ng ginhawa ng kaunlaran; isang lipunang patas at makatao, kung saan iginagalang ang karapatan at dignidad ng bawat Pilipino,” Robredo said.

“In Ninoy’s death, President Cory’s life, and PNoy’s fight along the straight and righteous path, they collectively pursued this vision; they showed what we all know to be the truth: That the Filipino is worth dreaming for,” she added.

Ninoy was assassinated on Aug. 21, 1983, upon his return to the Philippines after a three-year US exile. The airport where he was assassinated, Manila International Airport, was renamed Ninoy Aquino International Airport in December 1987, under Cory’s presidency. John Ezekiel J. Hirro