CORY  MONUMENT  AT  RIZAL  PARK  A  GO  DESPITE  AQUINOS  OBJECTION

MANILA,
AUGUST 22, 2009 (MALAYA) BY REGINA BENGCO - MALACANANG will push through with the plan to construct within six months a monument for former President Corazon Aquino at Rizal Park despite the expressed opposition of the Aquino family, deputy presidential spokesman Gary Olivar said yesterday.

The proposed Aquino monument, Olivar said, "is a gift in her honor from the Filipino people and the Philippine government through their elected President Gloria Arroyo."

"The gift is unconditional and the project will push through," Olivar said.

Olivar said he believes Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino is opposed to the project merely for political reasons, "because he (Noynoy) is seeking higher office."

Olivar also said the Aquino family could not be faulted for what they say about the Arroyo administration and the plan to build a monument for their mother because they are still "passing through a period of grief."

Nevertheless, Olivar said, President Arroyo has tried to show sensitivity to the condition of Aquino’s children.

He said Sen. Aquino, who may have ambitions to run for a higher position in 2010, "is therefore entitled as much as any other politician to use all his available political capital, including invoking the illustrious memory of his heroic parents to reject that gift if he so wishes."

Olivar said Sen. Aquino should heed the advice of Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, Manila archbishop, to campaign based on his own strengths and identity instead of capitalizing on the reputation of his late parents.

"He has to show that he is his own man, kung gusto po niya na maging magaling na presidente ng bayan natin," Olivar said of the young Aquino.

He said many politicians are riding on the Cory and Ninoy Aquino fever not only by wearing yellow shirts but invoking the memories of the couple in their political campaigns.

Palace says Cory monument an ‘unconditional gift’ By GENALYN KABILING, JEAMMA E. SABATE August 23, 2009, 7:08pm

(MANILA BULLETIN) The planned construction of a monument for the late President Corazon Aquino is “an unconditional gift” from the Filipino people and the Arroyo government, Malacañang said Sunday.

Deputy Presidential Spokesman Gary Olivar said the Palace has no plans to withdraw such monument that will be built in homage to President Aquino in spite of the rejection of her family.

This developed as Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim said that the Aquino family has unanimously agreed to his plan to build a monument beside the statue of slain Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

Lim said the Aquino family has unanimously agreed to the plan and that in fact, Sen. Benigno `Noynoy’ Aquino III, the only male in the Aquinos’ brood of five, himself said that their family is already in the process of picking what would become the basis of their mother’s sculpture and who would handle the job.

“The yet to be built statue of President Aquino will immortalize her and the impact she had had on the lives of Filipinos, so it has to be done according to the wishes of the family members themselves,” Lim said.

From the photo on which the sculpture will be based up to the one who will be commissioned to build it, Lim said he wants the Aquino family’s wishes to be followed.

In the case of the Ninoy monument which had stood at the corner of P. Burgos Drive and Roxas Boulevard since his first tenure as mayor in the early '90s, Lim said it was President Cory herself who chose the picture where the statue was based.

It depicted a slimmer Ninoy since the one supplied by President Aquino was a photo taken of her husband just after he finished a month-long hunger strike which he staged while in jail.

“The proposed Rizal Park monument to President Cory is a gift in her honor from the Filipino people and the Philippine government through their elected President GMA,” Olivar said.“The gift was unconditional and the project will push through.”

Olivar said they understand the hesitations made by Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III over the memorial for her late mother at the Rizal Park especially after he expressed interest in seeking higher office next year.

Senator Aquino earlier said it would have been more fitting if President Arroyo followed his mother’s good governance rather than offering to build a monument in her honor at Rizal Park.

“Noynoy has already declared his ambitions for higher office and is therefore entitled as much as any other politician to use all his available political capital, including invoking the illustrious memory of his heroic parents to reject the gift if he so wishes,” Olivar said.

Olivar said the President does not resent the Aquino family for rebuffing the planned monument for the late President, her latest gesture of goodwill to the estranged political ally. He said the President has actually showed “sensitivity” to the family who is still mourning over the loss of Mrs. Aquino, who died early this month due to cancer.

“The President recognizes the Aquino family, like any family who lost a loved one, is passing through a period of grief and during periods like these, they cannot be held fully responsible for what they say and do. We have to give them time to grieve as part of our tradition,” he said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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