Known for his great rhetoric, Ninoy became one of the toughest tongues against the Marcos regime. He was the voice of the opposition at the Batasan Pambansa often challenging Marcos’ policies and actions. Being groomed as Marcos’ opponent in the Presidency, Ninoy was arrested, jailed and exiled to the United States.
And on August 21, 1983, what should have been a comeback of the face of the opposition became the trigger of massive action against the dictator. And so the rest is history.
So, here are the 10 most significant quotes from the democracy icon and hero Sen. Ninoy Aquino.
10. “We must not only preserve yesterday’s heritage fight for today’s ephemeral interests, but die if need be, for tomorrow’s hopes.”
9. ”The great “legitimizer” of government is the ballot not the bullet”
8. “A time comes in a man’s life when he must prefer a meaningful death to a meaningless life.”
7. “I will never be able to forgive myself if I will have to live with the knowledge that I could have done something and I did not do anything.”
6. “I believe that the Filipino will respond to the call to greatness not by coercion but by persuasion, not by intimidation but through the ways of freedom.”
5. “My friends do not forget that your readiness to suffer will light the torch of freedom which can never be put out. Do not forget that we who are now in the middle of our years must inspire the youth when they are almost in the brink of despair. Do not forget that the purpose of life is precisely reexamining our being, not merely a floating flotsam in the time, in the floods of time. Do not forget, as Longfellow said that we should never be like driven cattle, but be a hero in the strife.”
4. “I could have opted to seek political asylum in America, but I feel it is my duty, as it is the duty of every Filipino, to suffer with his people especially in time of crisis.”
3. “What can one man do if the Filipino people love their slavery, if the Filipino people have lost their voice and would not say no to a tyrant, what can one man do. I have not army, I have no following, I have no money, and I only have my indomitable spirit.”
2. “We should not depend on one man; we should depend on all of us. All of us are expandable in the cause for freedom and therefore I say stand up now and be a leader, and when all of us are leaders, we will expedite the cause of freedom.”
1. “I have weighed all the virtues and faults of the Filipinos, and I have come to the conclusion that the Filipino is worth dying for.”
These words should remind us that we are a strong nation if we are united in one cause. That the power we have is so strong we can change our future. One man has made us believe in this power before, may we not forget that we can always use that power to bring changes to this nation. After all Filipinos are worth fighting for.
And as the Philippine election in 2016 draws near, may we all be reminded of the wisdom Ninoy have thought us. May his words be our guiding light in choosing the best leaders who will lead us to progress and development.