MANILA -- Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday hailed late President Corazon Aquino's "honest governance and critical role in the Philippines' democracy."
Robredo issued the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte said Aquino only rose to popularity after she lost her husband, former Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino who was assassinated in 1983.
The assassination of her husband triggered the 1986 EDSA Revolution that toppled the 20-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and catapulted her to the presidency.
“Hindi siguro nagma-matter kung paano nakilala, pero iyong nagma-matter, noong binigyan ng pagkakataong makapagsilbi, paano nagsilbi?” Robredo said.
(It doesn't matter how she became known, what matters is how she served when she was given the opportunity.)
“Kasi iba-iba naman talaga iyong circumstances... Pero iyong pinaka-tanong: Noong nabigyan ng pagkakataon, paano ginamit iyong kapangyarihan na binigay sa kaniya? Alam nating lahat na siya din iyong halimbawa ng hindi talaga nag-abuso sa kapangyarihan na binigay.”
(There are different circumstances but the main question is: When she was given the chance, how did she use the power given to her. We all know she's the example of not abusing power.)
Robredo said the first woman president of the Philippines
"exemplified strength amid the difficulties she faced under the Marcos regime."
“Alam natin na iyong pinagdaanan niya hindi basta-basta. Hindi lang sa nawala iyong asawa, pero bago nawala iyong asawa, kung ano-anong panggigipit iyong napagdaanan noong panahon ng rehimeng Marcos. Noong nakaupo na bilang presidente, alam nating sunod-sunod na kudeta iyong nalampasan,” Robredo said.
(We all know the difficulties she faced. Even before she lost her husband, the harassment they faced under the Marcos regime. When she became President, we know she faced consecutive rebellions.)
“Parating tinatawaran, lalo na ng mga supporters ng dating diktador, iyong kakayahan [niya]. Wala namang presidenteng perpekto, pero siguro kung may isang puwedeng maipagmalaki na hindi nang-abuso, hindi naging kurakot, [siya iyon]."
(Supporters of the former dictator underestimated her. No President is perfect but if there was one who we can say did not abuse her power, did not become corrupt, it was her.)