MANILA -- Two opposition senators on Wednesday paid tribute to former President Corazon Aquino's legacy in helping restore democracy to the country.
Aquino led the country's transition to democracy from dictatorship after a peaceful 1986 revolution toppled the 21-year rule of then President Ferdinand Marcos. She succumbed to colon cancer 9 years ago.
"She said, 'I don't have any formula for ousting a dictator or building democracy. All I can suggest is to forget about yourself and just think of your people. It's always the people who make things happen,'" Senator Bam Aquino said of his aunt Corazon in a statement.
"She reminds us, to this day, that it is up to all of us, together, to move this country forward and create a better Philippines," the lawmaker added.
Senator Leila De Lima, meanwhile, asked fellow Filipinos to remember the late former president's fight for democracy after the assassination of her husband, the late Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., a critic of Marcos.
"Sa kabila ng trahedyang dumating sa buhay ng kanilang pamilya sa karumal-dumal na pagpaslang sa kanyang asawang si Ninoy Aquino, hinarap niya ang panibagong pagsubok: Ang pangunahan ang sambayanan sa paglaban sa malupit na diktador na nanungkulan ng hanggang dalawang dekada," De Lima said.
(Despite the tragedy that befell her family after the gristly killing of her husband, she faced a new challenge: leading the country in the fight against a cruel dictator that served for 2 decades.)
"Buong mundo ang humanga at patuloy na nagpupugay sa tapang, tatag ng loob at paninindigan ni Pangulong Cory," she added.
(The whole world was amazed and continues to laud the bravery, perseverance and determination of President Cory.)
De Lima, however, expressed concern that Aquino's efforts to regain democracy is under threat amid a supposed "emerging return of the dark chapter in the Philippine history under [President Rodrigo] Duterte."
The senator, detained over drug charges, is a critic of Duterte's anti-narcotics campaign, which has seen some 4,200 killed after allegedly fighting authorities.
Aquino's death anniversary should revive the Filipinos' sense of bravery in standing up injustices, said De Lima.