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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

'Thank you, we love you, goodbye'

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Imee Marcos and her brother Ferdinand Marcos Jr., together with his wife Liza Araneta-Marcos, view the remains of former President Corazon Aquino at the Manila Cathedral yesterday. They were greeted by Ballsy Aquino-Cruz (right photo), the eldest child of Mrs. Aquino. AP/Jonjon Vicencio | Zoom

MANILA, Philippines - Loved ones, friends and strangers showered messages of grief, gratitude and farewell on the late president and people power icon Corazon Aquino last night on the eve of her burial today.

One of the most touching eulogies was delivered by a security aide of 20 years – Inspector Melchor Mamaril – who said he felt he had lost a mother . After his eulogy, he walked closer to Mrs. Aquino’s casket and saluted.

“She shall always remain engraved in our hearts. Thank you, We love you. Goodbye,” Mamaril said.

Mrs. Aquino’s younger daughter Kris could be seen weeping hard as Mamaril was reading his eulogy in English and a few lines in Filipino.

Mamaril was one of the two security escorts of the Aquino family pulled out by the government. The Arroyo administration claimed no knowledge of the order to pull them out and has since apologized.

“I stand now with a deep sense of pride and gratitude as I bid goodbye to her whom I owe so much. My wife Judy and my four children, join me in paying our last respect to one who has become big part of our lives and one who considered us as part of her family,” Mamaril said.

Mamaril said Mrs. Aquino never made him feel like a mere employee but treated him like a son, a family member.

He related that one of her unforgettable memories of Mrs. Aquino’s kindness was in 1998 when she personally prepared noodles for her security aides after coming home one day with them and finding no food in the house.

“That’s how Ma’am Cory was. She takes care of people around her no matter how big or small, She treated us not as mere employees but like a mother tending to a son after a hard day’s work,” Mamaril said.

He said the goodness that Mrs. Aquino showed him made a strong impact on his life and made him a confident person.

“I feel a sense of wonder and at the same time, I realized that her treatment raised my dignity as a person. She gave me self-respect, self worth and self confidence,” Mamaril said.

“And even when she lay dying in bed, she was always very concerned about us. She would always ask if we had eaten already,” Mamaril said.

“One could always see her compassionate heart for all those in need,” Mamaril said.

He also said that Mrs. Aquino also drew him closer to God and to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“I can always remember those times when we have to go to churches. In those times he brought me to prayer and closer to God. I am praying the rosary now,” Mamaril said.

“She exhibited a deep sense of prayer, devotion that I believe was the foundation of her being a person of dignity and uprightness,” he said.

Mamaril also thanked Mrs. Aquino’s children and family

“We are all with you in prayer, may God continue to bless us all,” Mamaril said.


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