“We are called upon to show now responsibility to duty, fidelity to our mandate despite our political diversity. I know that for the majority this may be hard, for what is demanded of us is to place country over party, sanity over the twisted logic of our baser political instincts.”
This is an excerpt from a speech delivered on June 23, 1968, by then Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. titled “A Carrot and a Stick for Mr. Marcos,” in which he articulated the moral demands on Philippine lawmakers during the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, the father of the incumbent.
The speech is among those now available online to the public for free on ninoyspeeches.ph, which was launched by the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation (NCAF) yesterday to mark the 91st birth anniversary of the slain opposition leader.
The website currently features 19 of the speeches originally published by the Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Foundation, which preceded the NCAF, in “A Garrison State in the Making and other Speeches.” The book, a compilation of Ninoy Aquino’s privilege speeches delivered on the Senate floor between 1968 and 1972, was first published in 1985.
Two years earlier, on Aug. 21, 1983, Ninoy Aquino was assassinated at the airport that now bears his name, upon his arrival from exile in the United States.
One of the speeches that the public can now read in full is titled “Operation Sagittarius.” In this speech delivered on Sept. 13, 1972, Ninoy Aquino revealed that then President Marcos was planning to put Metro Manila and nearby provinces under the control of the Philippine Constabulary as a prelude to the declaration of martial law. It was his last speech on the Senate floor before he and other members of the opposition were arrested and jailed when martial law was imposed 10 days later.
Among the other speeches on the website are “Jabidah! Special Forces of Evil?,” “The Bridge of San Juanico: Mr. Marcos’ Folly,” “A Pantheon for Imelda,” “When Law and Order Went Amok,” “Alternatives on our Economic Crises,” “The Tragedy of Tarlac,” “Mr. Marcos and Congress—A Black Cabal,” “Black Saturday, Plaza Miranda,” and “Liberty Shall Not Rest!”
Delivered decades ago, the messages in Ninoy Aquino’s speeches remain true and timely to this day: that it is incumbent on each Filipino to defend and preserve justice, truth, freedom and democracy.
For more information, contact Nikko Dizon, 0917-8106610 or [email protected].
Read more: Remember Ninoy Aquino