NEW YORK CITY, USA – President Benigno Aquino III was conferred on Thursday the highest honor given by her late mother’s alma mater in New York.
The College of Mount Saint Vincent gave the President the Elizabeth Seton Medal in honor of his “outstanding achievements and self-sacrifice.”
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was the first American canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. She is credited for building the foundation of American parochial education.
The late President Corazon Aquino also received the medal in 1984.
In his acceptance speech, the President recalled his parent’s fight to restore democracy in the Philippines.
"In accepting this award, I am humbled by what this medal represents: your solidarity with my people,” he said.
“You stood with us in dark days. You stand with us now, in brighter days: the greatest period of optimism my people have seen, since the fall of Ferdinand Marcos," he added.
“I, in turn, have been called to work with my people to ensure that democracy benefits all Filipinos, and not just a few,” the President said.
“The clamor for reform came from my people, and my being here to accept this award from you, is made possible by them. It is only proper that I accept this honor in their name,” he added.“Filipinos saved themselves from slavery to a dictator; they saved themselves from returning to the status of slaves; and they are working mightily, today, to free themselves from poverty,” Aquino said.