BINAY – I HAVE LOST A CLOSE AND DEAR PERSONAL FRIEND

PRESS RELEASE
4 AUGUST 2009
REF: JOEY SALGADO/MAKATI ICRD

Makati Mayor Jejomar C. Binay today paid tribute to former president Corazon Aquino by describing her as a “close and dear personal friend” whose moral courage inspired millions of Filipinos.

“President Cory is a great moral leader…. One that leads by example, with humility and with great love and purity of intentions,” he said.

“But more than a courageous moral leader, she was to me a very close and dear personal friend,” he said.

In his eulogy at the Manila Cathedral, Binay said he will miss, among others, the times when Aquino would introduce him as “one of my favorite mayors.” Binay was the first local official appointed by Aquino under her revolutionary government.

He also thanked the former president for visiting him at the Makati City Hall in October 2006 when he was ordered suspended by Malacanang and for publicly declaring her support for him.

“Maraming pagkakataon na dapat kayong pasalamatan, Pangulong Cory. Dinamayan ninyo ako nang ako ay suspindihin dahil sa aking paninindigan. Laking tuwa ko nang dumating kayo at nagpahayag ng inyong taos-pusong suporta,” he said.

Binay described Aquino, who succumbed to colon cancer Saturday, as someone whom he would often turn to for advice. The Makati mayor also served as chair of the then Metropolitan Manila Authority (MMA) during the Aquino presidency, took part in defending Aquino during several coup attempts, and is now president of the United Opposition (UNO).

Jojo Binay with President Cory
To show the humility that marked Aquino’s style of presidency, the Makati mayor recalled an incident after the inauguration of former president Fidel Ramos when he saw Aquino going down the Quirino Grandstand by herself.

“Ipinakita ninyo ang tunay at tapat na paglilingkod sa simpleng paraan. Tulad na lang noong inagurasyon ni dating pangulong Fidel Ramos. Mag-isa kayong bumaba nang walang bodyguard at walang kasama. Dali-dali ko kayong inalalayan at tumingin kayo sa akin at ngumiti. Nabanaag ko sa inyong mukha ang tagumpay na nagkaroon ng matahimik na pagsalin ng pamamahala,” he said.

Binay lauded Aquino’s commitment to democracy, citing her active participation in protest movements as an ordinary citizen. He vowed to continue to defend justice and democracy which was restored during the Aquino presidency.

What follows is the complete text of Binay’s eulogy:

Pangulong Cory, sa iyong paglisan, wala na akong masasandigan, at mahihingan ng payo tuwing ako’y inaabot ng agam-agam.

Mami-miss ko po ang pagtawag niyo sa akin na “one of my favorite mayors.”

Maraming pagkakataon na dapat kayong pasalamatan, Pangulong Cory. Dinamayan ninyo ako nang ako ay suspindihin dahil sa aking paninindigan. Laking tuwa ko nang dumating kayo at nagpahayag ng inyong taos-pusong suporta.

Ipinakita ninyo ang tunay at tapat na paglilingkod sa simpleng paraan. Tulad na lang noong inagurasyon ni dating pangulong Fidel Ramos. Mag-isa kayong bumaba nang walang bodyguard at walang kasama. Dali-dali ko kayong inalalayan at tumingin kayo sa akin at ngumiti. Nabanaag ko sa inyong mukha ang tagumpay na nagkaroon ng matahimik na pagsalin ng pamamahala.

Maraming salamat, Pangulong Cory. Nang natapos na ang inyong panunungkulan bilang pangulo, tuloy pa rin kayong namuno sa mga panahong nanganib ang katotohanan at demokrasya. Ang inyong tinig ang aming sandigan, ang inyong katapangan ang aming lakas, ang inyong prinsipyo ang aming naging haligi ng pagiging isang bansa.

President Cory is a great moral leader…. One that leads by example, with humility and with great love and purity of intentions. She had a purpose to fulfil, and fulfil it she did, according to the Lord’s will. Now she is leaving us, likewise, in accordance with God’s will and purpose. She held on as long as she could, believing up to her last breath that the Filipino is worth living for.

But more than a courageous moral leader, she was to me a very close and dear personal friend.

Pangulong Cory, paalam at salamat sa biyaya ng demokrasya na umusbong sa iyong pamamahala, sa pagbahagi ng iyong oras, ng iyong buhay, ng iyong puso sa aming lahat.

Baunin po ninyo ang aking pagmamahal, ang pasasalamat bilang isang Jojo Binay na inyong ginabayan sa pamahalaan. Baunin po ninyo ang aming pasasalamat bilang isang bansa sa inyong pagiging ilaw ng bawa’t tahanang Pilipino.

Pangulong Cory, umasa po kayo na ang naibalik ninyong katarungan at demokrasya ay aming pangangalagaan at patuloy na ipaglalaban.

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