On 'dilawan' tag, Aquino says listen to message before looking at color

Former president Benigno Aquino III: 'Dapat bago tignan nila 'yung kulay, dapat tignan nila kung may saysay ba 'yung sinasabi. Meron bang dahilan para umalma sa mga patayan na nangyayari?'

Bea Cupin

Published: 10:25 AM September 21, 2017

Updated: 10:25 AM September 21, 2017

LIBERAL PARTY. Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, former president Benigno Aquino III, Senator Francis Pangilinan, Vice President Leni Robredo, and Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV attend Mass on September 21, 2017. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Former president Benigno Aquino III urged supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte and those who criticize the opposition as mere "dilawan," to listen to their message, too.

"Dapat bago tignan nila 'yung kulay, dapat tignan nila kung may saysay ba 'yung sinasabi. Meron bang dahilan para umalma sa mga patayan na nangyayari?" said Aquino on the sidelines of a "Mass for justice" at the University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City on Thursday, September 21.

(Maybe before we look at color, we should find out if there's a point to what's being said. Is there a reason to be alarmed over the killings that are happening?)

On Thursday, Filipinos all over the country took to the streets or held events to remember the atrocities and injustices that took place under the regime of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Aquino was joined by other members of the "dilaw (yellow)" Liberal Party at the Mass, where they cried justice not just for those who died or disappeared during Martial Law, but victims of alleged extrajudicial killings in Duterte's drug war.

"The good part about this is that there are so many people concerned from different ages... there seems to be less of a need now to awaken than what it was before," said Aquino, the son of two democracy icons during Martial Law – the late senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr and former president Corazon "Cory" Aquino.

Ninoy was among Marcos' staunchest critics and was eventually killed mere moments after he returned to the country following exile in the United States. Ninoy's assassination led to a series of events that eventually culminated in the 1986 People Power Revolution, which ousted the late dictator.

It was Cory who took over the country after the uprising.

Asked if Thursday's event was the "beginning" of a stronger voice of opposition from the LP, Aquino said: "Not just from the party but there are so many people here who are not affiliated with the party because this is a common concern."

Aquino declined to give a message for his successor, pointing out that Duterte is not a fan of "unsolicited comments and advice." – Rappler.com