Noynoy Aquino is running for President

Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III announced he is running for President of the Philippines in 2010 in a press conference September 9.

"Tinatanggap ko ang hiling ng sambayanan, tinatanggap ko ang  habilin at tagubilin ng aking mga magulang.Tinatanggap ko  ang responsibilidad na ituloy ang laban para sa bayan. Tinatanggap ko ang  hamong mamuno sa labang ito. Bayang Pilipinas, tatakbo po ako sa pagkapangulo sa daratting na halalan. Itutuloy ko po ang laban. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!" Sen. Aquino said in his speech  at the  Club Filipino in Greenhills  at  8:06 a.m on the 40th day since his mother former President Corazon Aquino died.

Sen. Aquino said in his speech in Filipino that when he lost his mother, "the pillar of our family,  our leader," he wondered, "How do we continue the fight?  Do the people still want us to continue the fight?" His questions were answered at  her wake and at her funeral, where "without a doubt," he saw the answer, referring to the massive turnout of people. "This is deja vu," a friend told him, "it is like 1986 all over again." When he still could not decide whether or not to run, the friend told him"Sana dalawin ka ng nanay at tatay mo pag pinalampas mo ang pagkakataong ito."

Upon his sister Pinky's suggestion he went on a retreat at the Carmelite sisters'  convent in Zamboanga to seek clarity and enlightenment. "Parang ayaw ko na lumabas sa kumbento," he admitted.

Sen. Aquino said that after the retreat his decision was solidified by encounters with many ordinary people, including young children who impressed him with their awareness of today's social ills, as well as a Customs employee who urged him to run for office "para  puwede na po muling mangarap."

He said "he hopes to be a President that will be missed when I step down." Aquino  also praised Liberal Party president Sen. Mar Roxas for his move in stepping down as a presidentiable, saying that unlike other politicians,  Roxas clearly thought of the Filipino people before himself. He named Roxas as his choice for running mate for the 2010 elections if he accepts the offer, but they had yet to discuss it. "I've offered the Vice Presidential slot to him. I'm waiting for his decision," Aquino said.

When asked why he chose September 9 as the historic day to make his long-awaited announcement, he said that the blessing from his sisters was granted just the day before. His sisters  Ballsy, Pinky, Viel and actress Kris Aquino  in the past had publicly made it known that they were "not keen" on the idea of Noynoy running for President and wished to spare their family from the political limelight.

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Aquino's announcement to run for president was made in the same venue where his mother Cory Aquino was sworn in as President on February 25, 1986.  Beside him as he spoke, all clad in black, were his family members. Awash in a sea of yellow, the Club Filipino was filled with  Liberal Party members which included Rep. Risa Hontiveros Baraquel, Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, Sen.Franklin Drilon, as well as entertainers advocating social change Juana Change and Jim Paredes. Aquino's girlfriend, Valenzuela Councilor Shalani Soledad, was also present. Leah Navarro of the Black and White Movement led the singing of the National Anthem.

"I am a public servant and I am responding to the will of my masters," Aquino said later in an interview.

Both GMA-7 and ABS-CBN aired live coverage of the press conference.

In a radio interview with DZBB's Mike Enriquez, Pres. Arroyo's political affairs adviser, Sec. Gabriel Claudio, revealed that the administration candidate under Lakas-Kampi will be announced on September 15.

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