MANILA - Kabataan Party-list Rep. Terry Ridon said President Benigno Aquino III’s actions are nowhere near the legacy left by his father, Senator Benigno Aquino III, whose death is being remembered today, August 21.
In a statement, Ridon said, “If Sen. Ninoy was alive today, he would have been the first to call out his son’s dictatorial tendencies."
"It is sad and frustrating that the son is barely living up to the ideals and legacy of the father," he added.
Ridon pointed out Aquino’s recent political moves are more akin to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, rather than Ninoy’s. This is after President Aquino expressed openness to amending the Constitution including the lifting of term limits of elected officials.
“Ninoy fought against the dictatorship through fiery speeches inside and outside Senate. The late senator fired up the Filipino nation’s fighting spirit by exposing the Marcos regime’s excesses and crimes. Yet, more than three decades after his death, here is his son, Noynoy, vainly trying to consolidate power for himself by floating the idea of clipping the Judiciary’s power and lifting term limits,” Ridon said.
“If Ninoy was alive today, he would have been President Noynoy’s staunchest critic. He would have called out Noynoy’s DAP for not only being unconstitutional but also a tool to consolidate power," he added.
The lawmaker said the late senator would have criticized his own son for approving the controversial Cybercrime Law.
He also said Ninoy would have been the first to call for Noynoy’s resignation "following the recent developments that revealed the latter’s dictatorial tendencies."
Ridon said one way for the President to honor his father's legacy is to grant a general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty to all political prisoners.
He urged the President to stop pushing for Charter change and the legality of the disbursement acceleration program.
He also said the President should resign from office.
President Aquino is facing four impeachment complaints at the House of Representatives, mostly over his Disbursement Acceleration Program. The Supreme Court earlier declared unconstitutional several acts under the DAP.
The President is also facing a huge protest on Monday, August 25.
Organizers said the protest is meant to start a people’s initiative to introduce a new law banning the pork barrel system.
For umbrella group Bayan, the Luneta rally is also “an occasion to register the people's strongest opposition to Charter change and term extension and Aquino's attacks on the judiciary to reverse the SC ruling on DAP.”
The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan said among those who have already signified to join the Luneta event are Integrated Bar of the Philippines, whose members will initially gather in front of the Supreme Court; the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP); the Catholic Educators Association of the Philippines; and the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches.
Groups such as #Abolishpork, Scrap Pork Network, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, Concerned Citizens Movement, Youth ACT Now!, Babae Laban sa Katiwalian, Church People’s Alliance Against Pork Barrel, Nationalist Movement, and various sectoral formations are also mobilizing for the event.
Musician Monet Silvestre, one of those who first called for a Million People March in Luneta last year, has composed a reggae jingle to help raise awareness about the August 25 rally.
Silvestre, who was part of the 80s musical group The Tux, is also the spokesperson of the #Abolishpork movement, which is helping organize the Luneta event.
“The August 25 event marks a major advance in our fight against pork and for accountability in the PDAF and DAP scams. We have a main protest program and we have a sign up drive reaching out to all cities, municipalities and congressional districts here in Manila. Our people are demanding an end to a corrupt pork system, and accountability of our national leaders, especially the President,” Silvestre said.
Meanwhile, actor Bernardo Bernardo, who also supported the Facebook call to action last year, is helping out with the program committee for the Luneta event this year.