Senator Butz Aquino has always been cold to politics. He was hesitant to enter this field on the belief that philippine politics was merely elitist, “a ballgame of the rich.” He also did not think much of the system of government saying that it was “ too slow ” in delivering basic services to the people.
But all these perceptions took a sudden turnabout upon the death of his brother, Ninoy, a well-known opposition during the Marcos Era. Whereas before he was merely impressed with the sacrifices that Ninoy went through, he now felt that after Ninoy died, he should try to seek justice and continue what his brother had died for. Thus, he helped form the A.T.O.M. (August Twenty-One Movement) and BANDILA (Bansang Nagkakaisa sa Diwa at Layunin) and organized street marches and rallies.
His efforts finally came into full bloom with the 1986 EDSA REVOLUTION, where Butz was the first figure to publicly exhort people to gather at the Isetann Department Store and march toward the military camps and rally their forces together against the Marcos dictatorship.
After two and a half years in the Parliamentary of the streets, Butz took the most decisive step in his political career. He ran for and won a seat in the real parliament – the Senate. Surprisingly enough, instead of becoming hardened by this exposure to the game of politics, Butz still remains an idealist at heart. He has come out as a tireless champion of cooperativism – movement that, according to him, holds the key to solving the country’s most pressing problem, namely, widespread poverty. As a senator of the Republic of the Philippines, he has authored several landmark pieces of legislation, most notably, the Magna Carta for Small Farmers, Seed Act, and the Cooperative Code of the Philippines. This last has contributed greatly to the recent resurgence of Filipino cooperatives. This new law, along with R.A. 6939 (Creating the Cooperative Development Authority) could very well galvanize the cooperative movement into a potent force for socio-economic change.
Senator Agapito “Butz” Aquino has emerged as a public servant with his own personal style, vision and conctrete action program towards a better life for the impoverished masses, and has been guided by the princiles of: “Live Simply, Seek Justice, Be Humble, Love Always.”