Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Saturday enjoined his fellow Filipinos to protect the freedom they are currently enjoying.
Andanar made the call, as he joined the nation in commemorating the 38th death anniversary of the late senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.
“May this occasion remind us of our duty and commitment to protecting the freedoms it has given all of us,” he said in his message on Ninoy Aquino Day.
Andanar said the “democratic spirit” in the country has never wavered despite challenges because of courage, determination, and will of Filipinos like Aquino.
He expressed hope that all Filipinos would emulate Aquino who fought for democracy.
“His legacy, and those of others who have fought for our democratic ideals, continues in igniting the spirit of nationalism and heroism among us,” Andanar said.
Andanar also urged the public to set aside their “individual aims” and instead join the government in its “goal of development and recovery from the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019).”
“With the Duterte administration’s firm commitment to upholding and preserving democracy, our responsibility to address and fight our nation’s social ills, especially as we continue to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, has never been more important than at this very moment,” he said.
August 21 is special non-working day to allow Filipinos to commemorate Aquino’s death.
Aquino, an opposition senator and staunch critic of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law regime, was shot upon his arrival at the then Manila International Airport on Aug. 21, 1983.
His death sparked indignation against Marcos’ dictatorship that fueled the Edsa People Power Revolution in February 1986.
The uprising later toppled Marcos and catapulted Aquino’s widow, Corazon Aquino, to the presidency.