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Is the Filipino worth dying for? Netizens weigh in on Ninoy’s famous quote

Bonz Magsambol
Is the Filipino worth dying for? Netizens weigh in on Ninoy’s famous quote
Do you think that Ninoy Aquino's fight for freedom was in vain, or is the fight not yet over?

MANILA, Philippines  – Is the Filipino still worth dying for?

Many Filipinos online answered a resounding “yes,” even if many seemed disappointed and skeptical of the composition of the government and the current state of the nation.

As the country remembered Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr, the late senator who fiercely opposed the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and whose assassination sparked the People Power Revolution of 1986, Filipinos took to social media to ponder on Aquino’s famous quote “The Filipino is worth dying for” – an excerpt from his 1980 speech. 

‘For love of nation’

For Twitter user Zen Gaijin, some Filipinos are just victims of the deceptive regime and are worth dying for regardless.


The same sentiment was shared by Axl Allan, who said that some people are just victims of false information and are choosing the wrong person to hero-worship. 


But for Maurine Galve, while the Filipino is generally worth dying for, it’s not worth it for particular groups who masquerade as leaders and continue to degrade and destroy democracy and sovereignty. 


While the Duterte administration lauded the improved relations between the Philippines and other nations, critics hit the administration for giving in to Chinese pressure. (READ: Philippines-China Relationship under Duterte)

Meanwhile, for Rose Santos, Filipinos should protect and fight for their freedom. She thinks Filipinos should not wait for this freedom to just fall into their laps.


For Andre Abalos, Ninoy’s quote should remain relevant “if we are to progress as a nation.”


President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday paid tribute to Aquino, expressing hope that Ninoy Aquino Day would invigorate the commitment of Filipinos to “safeguard the freedoms that we now enjoy” and do more to help improve the lives of those suffering from poverty and injustice.

“Let his example guide us as we strive to uplift and protect the most vulnerable in our society and ensure that all Filipinos will enjoy the blessings of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law,” he said. (READ: Duterte: Ninoy Aquino serves as guide for protecting democracy)

But in his public speeches, Duterte has expressed admiration for Aquino’s political nemesis Marcos, and has said that, save for Marcos’s dictatorial rule, he was the best president the Philippines has ever had.

‘Lots of traitors now’

While most are still positive about fighting for the freedom of the Philippines, some have completely lost faith in Filipinos. 

For Jeff Alva, Iman Flores, and Russell Rodriguez, the nation is not worth dying for any longer.

“It deserves someone who can fool [Filipinos] as long as they want [to],” Alva said.  


For Twitter user , meanwhile, Aquino’s quote is “too far from reality” now. 


Do you think Filipinos are still worth dying for? Do you think that Ninoy Aquino’s fight for freedom was in vain, or is the fight not yet over? –

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.