President Benigno Aquino III announced on Tuesday that he will do everything he can to prevent a dictator from becoming the next leaders of the Philippines.
President Aquino said that he will not let the efforts of his father and those who have fought for our country to be in vain. The president is referring to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who is the possibility of implementing an iron-hand rule and styling himself as a strongman.
“After my father was killed, I told myself that I couldn’t bear to see that nothing will change. I had taken a stand during martial law. I cannot accept that my father and our thousand other fellow man would die in vain,” the President said in Filipino.
The president urged the Filipino people to unite and protect the country’s hard-fought democracy by not taking Duterte’s statements lightly.
The president said this in reference to Duterte’s statement regarding the abolishment of Congress if an impeachment surfaces as well as Duterte’s outlook with regard to the laws of the land and that of killing criminals.
During the Martial Law era, it was Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. who led the opposition against the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. He was assassinated on August 21, 1983, leading to a nationwide anti-Marcos protests which ultimately toppled the dictatorship. The Martial Law was smeared with massive human rights violations and corruption in the country.
The Martial Law ended when the Marcoses fled the country on February 25, 1986. However, they were able to return during the presidency of Joseph Estrada, now Manila City mayor, and is now among the leaders of the nation.
Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., on the other hand, a vice-presidential candidate, is now leading the pre-election surveys, overtaking Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo.
This, according to the president, baffled him as he could not understand why the Filipinos are rooting for those who are acting like dictators.
“Why is it that now we are free, those who are acting like dictators are the ones rating high? Something’s not right. What happened?” the president said.
Photo credit: Asian Correspondent
President Aquino also said that he is not the only one with the same sentiment as he has been receiving text messages from people who are worried about the possible return of martial law.