Palace in silent commemoration of Aquino martyrdom
MANILA, Philippines — Except for a minute of prayer, Malacañang has chosen to commemorate the 23rd death anniversary of former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. without fanfare.
No activity has been organized by the Palace as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo went about her scheduled activities Tuesday, including presiding over a meeting of the National Security Council earlier in the day to discuss the Mindanao conflict.
In the evening, the President will be at the wake of the 15 soldiers killed in clashes with the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan.
But her spokesman, Ignacio Bunye, said “Ninoy is very much in our mind.”
“As a matter of fact the President led the Cabinet in a minute of silent prayer in honor of the late senator. He is a martyr, a patriot, and good example that would remind us not only that the Filipino is worth dying for but more important worth living for,” Bunye told reporters in an interview.
Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara, Aquino’s sister and Arroyo’s image consultant, said it was a typical working day for the President, whom she claimed was focused right now on the conflict in Sulu and Basilan.
Aquino-Kashiwahara told reporters at the start of the Cabinet meeting Tuesday that she didn’t find anything wrong if there was no activity organized by the Palace for her brother.
Last year, Arroyo led the wreath laying ceremony at the Ninoy Aquino Monument along Roxas Boulevard in Manila and attended a mass at the EDSA Shrine.
Aquino’s widow, former president Corazon Aquino, was not in the event, but the late senator’s siblings Teresa Aquino-Oreta, Paul Aquino, Kashiwahara, Makati Representative Agapito Aquino, and Maur Aquino-Lichauco were present.