MANILA - Sisters of President Benigno Aquino III wept openly during their brother's 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) after he started talking extemporaneously and even echoed the words of their famous father, the late Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.
Maria Elena "Ballsy" Aquino-Cruz, the eldest of the Aquino siblings, confirmed in a text message that she cried during the last part of the President's SONA.
Asked why, she replied via text: "Parang namamaalam na kasi."
In his SONA, Aquino became emotional as he talked about his path to the presidency and why he took up the challenge.
"Kung tinalikuran ko ang pagkakataon, parang tinalikuran ko na rin ang aking ama't ina, at ang lahat ng inialay nila para sa atin; hindi mangyayari iyon.
He also mentioned the words of his famous father: "The Filipino is worth dying for. The Filipino is worth living for. At idadagdag ko naman po: The Filipino is worth fighting for."
Aquino reminded the public that he was nearly killed in a coup attempt during his mother's presidency in August 1987. At least one of the bullets in that coup attempt remains lodged in his neck.
"Pangalawang buhay ko na po ito," he said.
He said that when the time comes that his "second life" is over, he will be able to say that he is "content with what he has achieved."
Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said the last part of President Aquino's SONA was not part of the prepared speech of the President.
"Sa pagkaalam namin, hindi po iyon kasama sa prepared speech. I think marami po ang nagsasabi na galing yun sa puso at nararamdaman po ng mga nakapakinig," Coloma said in an ANC interview.
In a separate radio DZMM interview, Coloma said Aquino was clearly emotional because he felt the full import of his words during his speech.
"It was not his usual speaking demeanor," he said.