💫 Summary
President Corazon Aquino gives a speech before the US Congress, discussing her husband's sacrifice for freedom and her commitment to democracy in the Philippines. She addresses issues such as the insurgency, foreign debt, and the need for cooperation with the United States. The speech is met with enthusiastic applause and support from both Democrats and Republicans.
✨ Highlights📊 Transcript
President Corazon Aquino is introduced and receives a sustained and enthusiastic applause from congressional leaders.
The Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tem of the Senate are present.
Congressional leaders, including the Majority Leader of the House and the Minority Leader of the Senate, are also in attendance.
The applause is more than the usual reaction and is seen as a show of emotion from both Democrats and Republicans.
President Corazon Aquino's speech about the imprisonment and trials of her husband, Ninoy Aquino, during the dictatorship in the Philippines.
Ninoy Aquino was imprisoned by the dictator, along with thousands of others who spoke up for democracy.
He was subjected to indignities and terror, including being locked up in a tiny, nearly airless cell and being held under the threat of sudden execution.
Despite all of this, Ninoy held onto the spirit of democracy and refused to be broken by the government.
He was tried for subversion and a host of other crimes before a military commission, and even went on a fast to protest the injustice.
President Corazon Aquino shares her experience of her husband's death and the beginning of the revolution in the Philippines.
Her husband's death was seen as a resurrection for her country.
She believes in defending democracy through arms and truth.
Aquino held out for participation in the 1984 election, even though she knew it would be rigged.
Despite government thuggery and fraud, the opposition swept the elections with a clear majority of votes.
President Corazon Aquino expresses gratitude to the US Congress and emphasizes her commitment to peaceful governance and the restoration of democracy in the Philippines.
She thanks the US Congress for their role in changing US policy towards the Philippines.
Aquino emphasizes her commitment to peaceful governance and the restoration of democracy in the Philippines.
She highlights the Filipino people's role in the peaceful transition of power and the restoration of full constitutional government.
Aquino mentions the completion of a draft constitution and the upcoming elections for national and local positions.
President Corazon Aquino emphasizes the need for political initiatives, economic progress, and justice to bring insurgents down from the hills.
She will not betray the cause of peace but will not allow insurgent leadership to spurn their offer of peace.
Aquino is willing to explore the path of peace but will not hesitate to take up the sword of war if necessary.
She is committed to finishing the work of binding up the nation's wounds and achieving a just and lasting peace.
Aquino acknowledges the foreign debt and the conditions imposed on the previous government, which continue to burden the Philippines.
President Corazon Aquino discusses the challenges faced by the Philippines after the restoration of democracy.
The Philippines fulfilled the first condition of debt negotiation by restoring democracy and responsible government.
President Aquino began an important dialogue about cooperation and friendship between the Philippines and the US with President Reagan.
The people of the Philippines aspired for democracy despite poverty and unemployment.
The country faced challenges such as communist insurgency and economic deterioration.
President Corazon Aquino's speech before the US Congress was well-received and she called for America to join the Philippines in building a new home for democracy.
Aquino thanked America for the haven and home given to her and her family.
She asked America to help the Philippines preserve their newly-won freedom.
The speech was interrupted ten times and Aquino was well-received by both Democrats and Republicans.
Aquino's speech was seen as a call for America to join the Philippines in their commitment to freedom.
00:00Speaker of the House and the president
00:01the Pro Tem of the Senate and here we
00:03see Mississippi know he's accompanied by
00:07the majority leader of the House of
00:10Representatives Jim Wright of Texas who
00:15is likely to be the next speaker and
00:16other congressional leaders there
00:19Senator Robert dole right behind her
00:21he's the majority leader of the Senate
00:23and on his right as the Minority Leader
00:25the Democratic leader Robert Byrd of
00:27West Virginia
00:39and you can pull the sustained and very
00:41enthusiastic applause
00:47this is much more than the usual
00:48reaction that a leader would get coming
00:51into the chamber for many of them I
00:56think we suppose I'm doing going to see
00:57this is a female in prison no question
01:00for the for the vast majority of them
01:01and that is a real show of emotion that
01:04you can see out there and that's coming
01:07across the board Democrats and
01:08Republicans liberals and conservatives
01:10you can almost feel it
01:15now the speaker will will formally
01:17introduce her and then we'll get another
01:18round of applause
01:38it's about a long round of applause for
01:42those identity well I think it's very
01:44very important to stress that I've seen
01:47a number of these where we've had
01:48foreign leaders brought come before the
01:51Congress and you'll get applause it's
01:53it's nice it's it's appropriate and
01:57cordial it's Gordon this is something
01:59far more than that and it's meant to be
02:01a signal
02:06members will be seated members of the
02:10Congress it is my great privilege and I
02:13deem it a high honor and personal
02:15privilege to present to you her
02:17Excellency Corazon C Aquino president of
02:22the Republic of the Philippines
03:02mr. speaker Center Thurmond
03:06distinguished members of Congress three
03:11years ago I left America in grief to
03:15bury my husband Ninoy Aquino I thought I
03:20had left it also to lay to rest his
03:25Restless dream of Philippine freedom
03:28today I have returned as the president
03:32of a free people
03:48in burying the NOI a whole nation
03:52honored him by that brave and selfless
03:56act of giving honor a nation in shame
04:01recovered its own a country that had
04:05lost faith in its future found it in a
04:09faithless and brazen act of murder
04:12so in giving we receive in losing we
04:17find and out of defeat we snatched our
04:21victory for the nation Ninoy became the
04:26pleasing sacrifice that answer their
04:29prayers for freedom for myself and our
04:33children Ninoy was a loving husband and
04:38his loss three times in our lives was
04:43always a deep and painful one 14 years
04:48ago this month was the first time we
04:52lost him a president turned dictator and
04:56traitor to his oath suspended a
04:59constitution and shut down the Congress
05:02that was much like this one before which
05:06I am honored to speak he detained my
05:10husband along with thousands of others
05:13senators publishers and anyone who had
05:17spoken up for the democracy as its
05:20engineer but for Ninoy a long and cruel
05:25ordeal was reserved the dictator already
05:29knew that Ninoy was not a body merely to
05:33be imprisoned but a spirit he must break
05:37for even as the dictatorship demolished
05:41one by one the institutions of democracy
05:45the press the Congress the Independence
05:49of the judiciary the protection of the
05:52Bill of Rights Ninoy kept their spirit
05:55alive in himself the government sought
06:00to break him
06:01indignities and terror they locked him
06:04up in a tiny nearly airless cell in a
06:08military camp in the north they stripped
06:11him naked and held the threat of a
06:14sudden midnight execution over his head
06:18Ninoy held up manfully under all of it I
06:22barely did as well for 43 days the
06:27authorities would not tell me what had
06:30happened to him this was the first time
06:33my children and I felt we had lost him
06:37when that didn't work they put him on
06:40trial for subversion murder and a host
06:44of other crimes before a military
06:46commission annoyed its authority and
06:52went on a fast if he survived it then he
06:58felt God intended him for another fate
07:01we had lost him again for nothing would
07:06hold him back from his determination to
07:08see his fast through to the end
07:12he stopped only when it dawned on him
07:15that the government would keep his body
07:18alive after the fast had destroyed his
07:22brain and so with barely any life in his
07:26body he called off the fast on the 40th
07:29day God meant him for other things he
07:33felt he did not know that an early death
07:37would still be his fate that only the
07:40timing was wrong at any time during his
07:44long ordeal Ninoy could have made a
07:48separate peace with a dictatorship as so
07:51many of his countrymen had done but the
07:54spirit of democracy that inheres in our
07:58ways and animates this chamber could not
08:02be allowed to die he held out in the
08:06loneliness of his cell and the
08:08frustration of exile the Democratic
08:13to the insatiable greed and mindless
08:16cruelty of the right and the purging
08:19Holocaust of the left and then we lost
08:23him irrevocably and more painfully than
08:26in the past the news came to us in
08:31it had to be after the three happiest
08:35years of our lives together but his
08:39death was my country's resurrection in
08:41the courage and faith by which alone
08:45they could be free again The Dictator
08:49had called him a nobody yet two million
08:53people threw aside their passivity and
08:56fear and escorted him to his grave and
09:01so began the revolution that has brought
09:05me to democracies most famous home the
09:10Congress of the United States
09:27the task had fallen on my shoulders to
09:31continue offering the Democratic
09:34alternative to our people Archibald
09:38MacLeish had said that democracy must be
09:41defended by arms when it is attacked by
09:44arms and by truth when it is attacked by
09:48lies he failed to say how it shall be
09:52won I held fast to Nino his conviction
09:56that it must be by the ways of democracy
10:00I held out for participation in the 1984
10:04election the dictatorship called even if
10:08I knew it would be rigged I was warned
10:12by the lawyers of the opposition that I
10:15ran the grave risk of legitimizing the
10:18forgone results of elections that were
10:21clearly going to be fraudulent but I was
10:24not fighting for lawyers but for the
10:27people in whose intelligence
10:30I had implicit faith by the exercise of
10:34democracy even in a dictatorship they
10:39would be prepared for democracy when it
10:41came and then also it was the only way I
10:46knew by which we could measure our power
10:49even in the terms dictated by the
10:52dictatorship the people vindicated me in
10:56an election shamefully marked by
10:59government thuggery and fraud the
11:02opposition swept the elections garnering
11:05a clear majority of the votes even if
11:09they ended up thanks to a corrupt
11:11Commission on Elections with barely a
11:14third of the seats in parliament now I
11:18knew our power last year in an excess of
11:23arrogance the dictatorship called for
11:26its doom in a snap election the people
11:30obliged with over a million signatures
11:34they drafted me to
11:36challenge the dictatorship and I obliged
11:40the rest is the history that
11:43dramatically unfolded on your television
11:46screens and across the front pages of
11:49your newspapers you saw a nation armed
11:54with courage and integrity stand fast by
11:57democracy against threats and corruption
12:01you saw women poll Watchers break out in
12:05tears as armed goons crash the polling
12:08places to steal the ballots but just the
12:12same they tie themselves to the ballot
12:15boxes you saw a people so committed to
12:20the ways of democracy that they were
12:22prepared to give their lives for it's
12:25pale imitation at the end of the day
12:29before another wave of fraud could
12:32distort the results I announced the
12:35people's victory many of you here today
12:40played a part in changing the policy of
12:43your country towards ours we the
12:47Filipinos thank each of you for what you
12:51did for balancing America's strategic
12:55interests against human concerns
12:58illuminates the American vision of the
13:01world the co-chairman of the United
13:06States observer team in his report to
13:09the president said I was witness to an
13:14extraordinary manifestation of democracy
13:16on the part of the Filipino people
13:20the ultimate result was the election of
13:23mrs. Corazon Aquino as president and mr.
13:27Salvador larell as vice president of the
13:30Philippines when a subservient
13:34Parliament announced my opponents
13:37victory the people then turned out in
13:40the streets and proclaimed me the
13:43president of all the people and true to
13:47their word when a handful
13:49of military leaders declare themselves
13:53against the dictatorship the people
13:55rallied to their protection surely the
14:00people take care of their own it is on
14:03that faith and the obligation it entails
14:07that I assume the presidency as I came
14:12to power peacefully so shall I keep it
14:17that is my contract with my people and
14:21my commitment to God
14:46he had willed that the blood drawn with
14:50the lash shall not in my country be paid
14:54by blood drawn by the sword but by the
14:58tearful joy of reconciliation we have
15:02swept away absolute power by a limited
15:06revolution that respected the life and
15:09freedom of every Filipino now we are
15:14restoring full constitutional government
15:18again as we restore democracy by the
15:21ways of democracy so are we completing
15:25the constitutional structures of our new
15:28democracy under a constitution that
15:32already gives full respect to the bill
15:35of rights a jealously independent
15:39Constitutional Commission is completing
15:42its draft which will be submitted later
15:45this year to a popular referendum when
15:50it is approved there will be elections
15:53for both national and local positions so
15:59within about a year from a peaceful but
16:02national upheaval that overturned a
16:05dictatorship we shall have returned to
16:09full constitutional government given the
16:14polarization and breakdown we inherited
16:17this is no small achievement my
16:21predecessor is set aside democracy to
16:25save it from a communist insurgency that
16:27numbered less than 500 unhampered by
16:33respect for human rights he went at it
16:36with hammer and tongs by the time he
16:40fled that insurgency had grown to more
16:44than 16,000 I think there is a lesson
16:49here to be learned about trying to
16:52stifle a thing with a means by which it
16:57I don't think
17:14I don't think anybody in or outside our
17:18country concern for a democratic and
17:22open Philippines doubts what must be
17:25done through political initiatives and
17:29local and reintegration programs we must
17:33seek to bring the insurgents down from
17:36the hills and by economic progress and
17:39justice show them that which the best
17:43intentioned among them fight as
17:46president of all my people I will not
17:50betray the cause of peace by which I
17:54came to power
18:08yet equally and again no friend of
18:11Filipino democracy will challenge this I
18:14will not stand by and allow an insurgent
18:18leadership to spurn our offer of peace
18:21and kill our young soldiers and threaten
18:25our new freedom
18:38yet I must explore the path of peace to
18:42the utmost for ethics and whatever
18:45disappointment I meet there is the moral
18:49basis for laying down the olive branch
18:52of peace and taking up the sword of war
19:03still should it come to that
19:06I will not waver from the course lay
19:09down by your great liberator with malice
19:13towards none with charity for all with
19:16firmness in the right as God gives us to
19:20see the right let us finish the work we
19:23are in to bind up the nation's wounds to
19:27care for him who shall have borne the
19:30battle and for his widow and for his
19:34orphans to do all which may achieve and
19:37cherish a just and lasting peace among
19:41ourselves and with all nations
19:57like Abraham Lincoln I understand that
20:01force may be necessary before mercy like
20:05Lincoln I don't relish it yet I will do
20:09whatever it takes to defend the
20:12integrity and freedom of my country
20:26finally may I turn to that other slavery
20:29our 26 billion dollar foreign debt I
20:34have said that we shall honor it yet the
20:39means by which we shall be able to do so
20:42are kept from us many of the conditions
20:46imposed on the previous government that
20:50stone this debt continued to be imposed
20:54on us who never benefited from it and no
20:59assistance or liberality commensurate
21:02with a calamity that was visited on us
21:05has been extended yet ours must have
21:09been the cheapest revolution ever
21:30with little help from others we
21:33Filipinos fulfilled the first and most
21:37difficult condition of the debt
21:39negotiation the full restoration of
21:43democracy and responsible government
21:47elsewhere and in other times of more
21:50stringent world economic conditions
21:53Marshall plans and they're like were
21:56felt to be necessary companions of
21:58returning democracy when I met with
22:02President Reagan we began an important
22:06dialogue about cooperation and the
22:09strengthening of friendship between our
22:12two countries
22:13that meeting was both a confirmation and
22:17a new beginning I am sure it will lead
22:21to positive results in all areas of
22:25common concern today we face the
22:30aspiration of a people who had known so
22:33much poverty and massive unemployment
22:35for the past 14 years and yet offered
22:40their lives for the abstraction of
22:43democracy wherever I went in the
22:47campaign slum area or impoverished
22:50village they came to me with one cry
22:55democracy not food although they clearly
22:59needed it but democracy not work
23:04although they surely wanted it but
23:07democracy not money for they gave what
23:11little they had to my campaign they
23:15didn't expect me to work a miracle that
23:18would instantly put food into their
23:21mouths clothes on their back education
23:25and their children and give them work
23:27that will put dignity in their lives but
23:32I feel the pressing obligation to
23:35respond quickly as the leader of the
23:38people so deserving of all these things
23:42we face a communist insurgency that
23:46feeds on economic deterioration even as
23:50we carry a great share of the free world
23:54defenses in the Pacific these are only
23:58two of the many burdens my people carry
24:01even as they try to build a worthy and
24:06enjoying house for their new democracy
24:09that may serve as well as a read out for
24:13freedom in Asia yet no sooner is one
24:17stone laid then two are taken away half
24:21our export earnings two billion dollars
24:25out of four billion dollars which is all
24:28we can earn in the restrictive markets
24:30of the world must go to pay just the
24:34interest on a debt whose benefit the
24:37Filipino people never received still we
24:43fought for honor and if only for Honor
24:46we shall pay and yet should we have to
24:51wring the payments from the sweat of our
24:54men's faces and sink all the wealth
24:57piled up by the bondsman's
25:00250 years of unrequited toil yet to all
25:06Americans as the leader of a proud and
25:09free people I address this question has
25:14there been a greater test of national
25:18commitment to the ideals you hold dear
25:21than that my people have gone through
25:25you have spent many lives and much
25:28treasure to bring freedom to many lands
25:32that were reluctant to receive it and
25:35here you have a people who want it by
25:39themselves and need only the help to
25:43preserve it
26:13three years ago I said Thank You America
26:18for the haven from oppression and the
26:22home you gave me know myself and our
26:25children and for the three happiest
26:28years of our lives together today I say
26:32join us America as we build a new home
26:37for democracy another haven for the
26:40oppressed so it may stand as a shining
26:44testament of our two nations commitment
26:47to freedom
27:32President Corazon C Aquino in our speech
27:35before the joint session of the Congress
27:37of the United States of America I'm
27:40still with Norman Ornstein and Norman
27:43the speech was interrupted ten times in
27:46its course and I guess it is obvious
27:50that the response has been enthusiastic
27:52a wildly enthusiastic I would say or Lia
27:54we can see mrs. Aquino leaving it's
27:56going to take for a while to get out of
27:58this chamber because I think you're
27:59going to find all kinds of members of
28:00Congress those are mostly the leaders
28:02now near the front of the chamber who
28:04will want to shake her hand she is a
28:06celebrity of sorts in this country now
28:10and I think she will probably exchange
28:13greetings with some members of Congress
28:14who she's met over the years and others
28:18who were just gonna crowd forward to the
28:20front of the aisles to try to reach out
28:23and shake her hand exchanged a word or
28:26two now this was a very very well
28:28received speech very cleverly presented
28:31I - balanced considering the fact that
28:34we all know their differences spice
28:38stances regards aida bali photos -
28:41philippines is consent between the
28:43Democrats and Republicans and even
28:45amongst the Republicans there those were
28:47more and to the right yes there are
28:50definitely some conservative Republicans
28:53who are fearful that President Aquino is
28:56going to be too soft towards the
28:58Communists in the communist insurgency
29:01and then there were members of Congress
29:03frankly on both sides of the aisle who
29:05are feeling the economic pinch right now
29:08that remembers budget pinch but what
29:11mrs. Aquino did was to draw in both
29:13sides talking about her commitment to
29:16democracy and her desire to avoid
29:18bloodshed at almost any turn but also
29:24indicating her determination to keep the
29:26Philippines free
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FAQs about This YouTube Video

1. What was the main focus of President Corazon Aquino's speech before the US Congress?

President Corazon Aquino's speech before the US Congress focused on her husband's sacrifice for freedom and her commitment to democracy in the Philippines.

2. How did President Corazon Aquino address the issue of insurgency in her speech?

In her speech, President Corazon Aquino addressed the issue of insurgency by emphasizing the need for cooperation with the United States to address the challenges and restore peace in the Philippines.

3. What topics did President Corazon Aquino discuss regarding the Philippines' foreign debt?

President Corazon Aquino discussed the Philippines' foreign debt and emphasized the importance of addressing this issue for the country's economic stability and development.

4. How was President Corazon Aquino's speech received by the US Congress?

President Corazon Aquino's speech was met with enthusiastic applause and support from both Democrats and Republicans in the US Congress.

5. What was the overall tone of President Corazon Aquino's speech before the US Congress?

The overall tone of President Corazon Aquino's speech before the US Congress was optimistic and focused on collaboration, highlighting the need for cooperation between the Philippines and the United States.

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