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Address to a Joint Session of Congress
"Mr. Speaker, Senator
Thurmond, distinguished members of Congress. Three years ago, I left
America in grief to bury my husband,
Ninoy Aquino. I thought I had left
it also to lay to rest his restless dream of Philippine freedom.
Today, I have returned as the President of a free people."
"The task had fallen on my shoulders to
continue offering the democratic alternative to our people.
Archibald MacLeish had said that democracy must be defended
when it is attacked by arms' and 'by truth when it is attacked by
"I was not fighting for lawyers, but
for the people in whose intelligence I had implicit faith. By the
exercise of democracy, even in a dictatorship, they would be
prepared for democracy when it came. And then also, it was the only
way I knew by which we could measure our power, even in the terms
dictated by the dictatorship."
"The people vindicated me in an
election shamefully marked by government thuggery and fraud. The
opposition swept the elections, garnering a clear majority of the
votes, even if they ended up, thanks to a corrupt commission on
elections, with barely a third of the seats in Parliament. Now I
knew our power."
"Last year, in an excess of arrogance,
the dictatorship called for its doom in a snap election. The people
obliged. With over a million signatures, they drafted me to
challenge the dictatorship, and I obliged. The rest is the history
that dramatically unfolded on your television screens and across the
front pages of your newspapers."
"You saw a nation armed with courage
and integrity, stand fast by democracy against threats and
corruption. You saw women poll watchers break out
in tears as armed goons crashed the polling places to steal the
ballots. But just the same, they tied themselves to the ballot
"You saw a people so committed to the
ways of democracy that they were prepared to give their lives for
its pale imitation."
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