Ninoy’s ‘dying’ words strike bitter(t)weet refrain | Inquirer Technology

Ninoy’s ‘dying’ words strike bitter(t)weet refrain

/ 03:32 AM August 23, 2015



“The Filipino is worth dying for”—words that touched the heart and drove thousands to the streets to rise against a dictatorship three decades ago.

Does the message still ring true and powerful these days?

“Yes, we say it when we sing our national anthem,” said Vicky Garchitorena, civic leader and former head of the Presidential Management Staff, in her Twitter account with the username @vickygarch.


“Yesterday … but not today,” netizen @abnirsil said.

For five days leading to the 32nd death anniversary of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. on Aug. 21, Inquirer Social Media posted on Twitter the question, “Is the Filipino still worth dying for?”

The statement is an excerpt from Aquino’s speech before Asia Society in New York on Aug. 4, 1980: “I have asked myself many times: Is the Filipino worth suffering, or even dying, for?”

Aquino himself answered the question then. He said: “I have carefully weighed the virtues and the faults of the Filipino and I have come to the conclusion that he is worth dying for because he is the nation’s greatest untapped resource.”


Aquino was allowed to go to the United States in May 1980 for a coronary bypass surgery after spending almost eight years in solitary confinement in a military jail. A military tribunal had convicted him of murder, illegal possession of firearms and subversion, and had sentenced him to die by firing squad in 1977.

Netizen @Clearpasig agreed with Aquino, citing the heroic leadership of former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, who died in a helicopter crash three years ago.


“It must resonate in every genuine Filipino’s soul but we must choose Filipinos worth dying for, not the corrupt,” said sports commentator @ronnathanielz.

Netizen @macolleet said yes, but what is happening is “the Filipino is dying in the hands of the Filipino.”

“In this lifetime anyone could die and it wouldn’t be worth any Filipino’s life,” said @pietronsaint.

“Back then it was worth it, but nowadays? I don’t think so,” said @idolkosijulou.

“Of course, the Filipino is worth dying for because who else will love this country except us Filipinos,” said @suigeneris_05.

“Without love for the country and patriotism, Filipinos are not worth dying for,” said @lelola31.

“With our status right now, you have to think more than once,” said @gerellyventura.

“Great men are ready to die for their nation. Mediocre men hide when Filipinos die for their nation,” said @kalayaan1898.

One netizen praised the Filipinos for being caring but netizen @zaoldyeck17 was “sad that a great portion of the population is not worth dying for.”

“Worth dying,” said @JOHNNY_B1500, except that most politicians are not sincere when they say it.

“But our leaders, are they worth…?” said @juan_alaska.

“His death became useless, the People Power of 1986 emerge another plunderer, BINAY,” netizen @adonismanguera said.

“Why die for those who don’t live a life worth living?” said @firehorse1130.

Not a few netizens felt Aquino was not deserving of all the accolades heaped on him since he was shot dead in 1983.

“Dying for personal ambition is not heroism,” said @ash+_om.

“I always ask myself the same question whenever I see this line on the 500 peso bill,” said @zaoldyeck17.


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