Noli, aggie chief, others grieve

PHILIPPINES NEWS SERVICE — VICE President Noli de Castro yesterday offered condolences to the family of former President Corazon Aquino.

“My family and I join our fellow Filipinos in grieving for the death of former President Cory Aquino. We join the whole nation in mourning the death of a world icon of peace and democracy,” a statement issued by De castro said.

He stressed “our nation has lost a great leader and a mother. The Filipino people will forever be grateful for her heroic sacrifice of offering her leadership as a uniting beacon during the dark days of the dictatorship. Her life and virtues shall always be an inspiration and source of strength to the Filipino people as we face the challenges and struggles as a freedom loving nation.”

The Vice President, who was a broadcaster during Mrs. Aquino’s presidency, thanked the late president for bringing back democracy to the Philippines.

“Bilang isang brodkaster, lubos ang aking pasasalamat sa kanya sa pagbalik ng demokrasya sa bansa. Utang na loob po namin sa kanya ang malayang pamamahayag na tinatamasa natin ngayon. Sa ipinamalas niyang tapang sa pamumuno, binuhay niya ang loob ng mga mamamahayag na ipaglaban ang karapatan at kalayaan ng bawat Pilipino.”

“Let us console ourselves with the thought that she has now returned to Our Great Creator,” De Castro added.

Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said the world mourns the death of former President Cory Aquino.

Yap, who was only a student at the Ateneo de Manila University during the EDSA Revolution, said that Aquino had steered the adoption of a new Philippine Constitution that restored the hallmarks of the US-style democracy including free elections and free speech, an independent judiciary and a bicameral Congress.

The transport group Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO) said that Mrs. Aquino should be accorded a hero’s accolade for saving Philippine democracy.

Efren de Luna, ACTO president, said he joins other (transport) groups in extending condolences to the family of the “Mother of Democracy.”

To show their sympathy, de Luna said he urged all ACTO members to tie yellow ribbons on their passenger jeepneys. Yellow ribbons signified the fight for freedom by Mrs. Aquino and the opposition during the Marcos era.

Even militant groups also expressed sadness over the demise of the former President.

“Malaking kawalan sa bansa ang pagpanaw ng dating Pangulo Corazon Aquino na kahit sa kabila na karamdaman ay kasama sa mga pagkilos, pakiisa sa ipinaglalaban na katotohanan,” Renato Reyes, Bayan secretary general, said.