"I also hope that Ninoy's remarkable life as a public servant will move my fellow government workers to serve with honor, integrity, and purpose as well as inspire our youth to be of service to their country and fellowmen."
Official Gazette, File photo
Duterte to public servants: Serve with honor, integrity like Ninoy
Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - August 21, 2019 - 1:40pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday expressed hope that the life of the late senator Benigno Aquino Jr. would inspire government workers to serve with honor and to help fight the problems that beset the nation. 

In his message for the Ninoy Aquino Day, Duterte said Aquino's sacrifice "altered the course of our nation's history and still continues to ignite the spirit of heroism among our people." 

"May this auspicious occasion remind us of what we had lost so that we may remain committed to our solemn duty to safeguard the freedom that we now enjoy," Duterte said. 

"I also hope that Ninoy's remarkable life as a public servant will move my fellow government workers to serve with honor, integrity, and purpose as well as inspire our youth to be of service to their country and fellowmen," he added. 

Duterte, a vocal admirer of the late dictator and Aquino's political rival Ferdinand Marcos, said the late senator played an important role in resorting Philippine democracy more than three decades ago. He admitted that more work has to be done to solve the ills that are already present during Aquino's time. 

"Despite our gains in these past three years, there is still a lot that needs to be done if we are to completely eradicate poverty, corruption, and injustice that had plagued our nation even during Ninoy's time," the president said.

"Let his example guide us as we strive to uplift and protect the most vulnerable in our society and ensure that all Filipinos will enjoy the blessings of freedom, democracy and rule of law," he added. 

Aquino, a staunch critic of Marcos, was assassinated on Aug. 21, 1983, shortly after his plane landed at the then Manila International Airport. His death led to a series of events that culminated in the historic 1986 People Power Revolution that ousted Marcos, catapulted Aquino's wife Corazon into the presidency and restored democratic institutions.

Critics have accused Duterte of downplaying the importance of the People Power uprising because his presidential bid was supported by the Marcoses. The president has also been accused of trying to revise history and deodorizing the image of Marcos, whose reign was tainted with allegations of cronyism and human rights violations. Despite protests from human rights advocates, Duterte had allowed the giving of a hero's burial to Marcos and had praised the late president in some of his speeches. 

Despite his perceived alliance with the Marcoses, Duterte recently approved the sale of Marcos jewelry worth more than P700 million and has ordered agencies to ensure that the proceeds of the sale would benefit Filipinos.

MARTIAL LAW NINOY AQUINO PRES. RODRIGO DUTERTE
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