Yellow balloons were released and yellow candles were lighted in front of the statue of the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. at Araneta Street in Bacolod City to mark the 30th year of his death yesterday.
Andres Hagad, chairman emeritus of Liberal Party, said the yellow balloons symbolize unity while the lighted candles mean the need to rekindle the spark of heroism that the late Senator had started.
“The youth of today, who were not able to come to know him (Aquino) should know that he is a hero of the same caliber as Dr. Jose Rizal, because he also gave up his life for the Philippines”, Hagad said.
“His (Aquino) death should also remind us to be like him because by doing so, we may be able to make our nation great again”, Hagad added.
However, he said, it has been 30 years since Aquino died but, seemingly, most Filipinos have already forgotten the significance of his death to the Philippines and its democracy.
A former member of the Group of 21 formed after the death of Aquino, Bacolod Councilor Archie Baribar, reminisced on the events after the late Senator was assassinated at the tarmac of the former Manila International Airport, which was later named the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in honor of his heroism.
Baribar said their group composed of professionals, urban poor leaders, land owners and even ordinary people, was a local version of the August Twenty-One Movement of the Manila-based Aquino supporters.
“We agreed to hold mass mobilizations every 21st of the month which eventually drew the attention by then President Corazon Aquino, the widow of the late Senator”, Baribar also said.
Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., had earlier said that the death of Aquino transformed us as a nation and made the international community to look at the Filipinos differently with highest respects.
Meanwhile, Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella, who was the guest of honor at the commemoration, said that if the late Senator was alive today he will not be happy to see the country’s present state where graft and corruption are becoming worse.
Meanwhile, the Liberal Party officials for 2013 to 2016 in Bacolod also hold their induction ceremony in front of the statue of the late Senator.
Inducted into office were Councilors Jocelle Batapa-Sigue – chairman, Councilor Sonya Verdeflor – vice chairman, Dr. Bernardo Eres –secretary, Roger Balderas – treasurer, Ma. Teresa Lozada – auditor, Sally Agtoto – business manager, Hagad – public relations officer, and Napoleon Dojillio – secretary general.
Committee heads are Cesar Ligahon – Education, Joemarie Abello – Finance, Mila Alit – Membership, Kid Bañas – Ways and Means, Baribar – Political Affairs and Bacolod Councilor Ana Marie Palermo – Legal Team.
Sectoral representatives are Mario Gerona – Youth, Ardis Jaculina – Women, Edwin Espinosa – fisherfolks, Helen Castro – transportation, Lozada – Labor, Bañas – Farmers, Eres – Academe, Elmer Gamboa – Urban Poor, Madeline Diaz – Children and Reynaldo Padilla – Senior Citizens.*APN