MANILA — President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday graced the launch of the book, “The Aquino Legacy: An Enduring Narrative” in Makati City.

The book, written by Elfren Sicangco Cruz and Neni Sta. Romana Cruz, is a collection of historical accounts and commentaries, as well as human-interest essays, and is dedicated to the youth to help them understand the lessons of Martial Law and the struggle to restore democracy.

“The ‘past’ chronicled in the book we are launching today includes events significant to our country’s history: the dark days of Martial Law, for example, as well as the challenges my mother faced in restoring and safeguarding democracy after the Filipino people won the country back from the iron fist of the dictator,” President Aquino said.

“Everyone here also knows that there are many different accounts of what happened. Those who were left-leaning at that point in time have documentation of their own struggles. Those who were once part of the regime have also released their version of what took place at the time. Here, we have an alternative account, one that is inextricable from the life of our family,” he said.

President Aquino noted that the book was written with its personal bias or viewpoint, based from the title of the book alone.

“All accounts of history are written with the personal biases and views of the authors. What is truly important is the fact that we are adding to the body of knowledge available at this point: we are making sure that no single person is able to dictate history, and consequently, influence the thinking of Filipinos. We are making sure that the whole picture is available, as opposed to what can only be called propaganda,” he said.

President Aquino said the book is meant to remind present generations of how millions of Filipinos took a stand against the dictatorship.

“My parents are perhaps the most prominent examples of that. As such, by its very nature, this book will be an intensely personal read. In documenting the events that shaped our nation, so too does it provide a closer look at our family—at the normal lives we tried to lead in spite of extremely extraordinary circumstances, and at the lessons and principles that continue to guide us to this day,” he said.

In his message, the President also lauded the authors of the book, whom he said are among those who have stood by his family “sa hirap at sa ginhawa”.

“It is remarkable to see that you continue to work with the same love for country that you showed in the days when we were fighting for the freedom of the Philippines,” he said.

“It is my sincere hope that your efforts will bear fruit: that this book will be a jumping-off point for Filipinos, especially those from the younger generation: that they will be encouraged to learn from the past, and consequently, to do their part in ensuring that the country can look forward to a far brighter future,” he added.

During the launch, President Aquino was presented with the first copy of the book.

Also present at the event were Education Secretary Armin Luistro and Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. PNA