The Grey Chronicles

2009.August.21

There’s a Ninoy Aquino in All of Us



Ninoy AquinoRodel Rodis, a Philippine Daily Inquirer reporter, asked (2008):

“After 25 years, the question remains unanswered: who ordered the assassination of former Philippine senator and martyr Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino on Aug 21, 1983?”

Below Rodis’ article is a time line of The Ninoy Murder Case highlighting the various dates and events from 21 August 1983 to 14 March 2008, such as:

Aug 21, 1983 — Benigno Aquino, Jr is assassinated upon arrival in Manila

Aug 24, 1983 — Ferdinand Marcos sets a fact-finding commission
Aug 31, 1983 — Ninoy is buried
Oct 22, 1983 — Marcos creates another fact-finding committee known as the Agrava Fact-Finding Board
Oct 22, 1984 — Agrava Board concludes that military officers plotted to kill Ninoy
Dec 2, 1985 — Anti-graft court acquits all accused
Sept 12, 1986 — High court orders a retrial
Sept 16, 1986 — An arrest warrant is issued against 25 military men
Sept 28, 1989 — Marcos dies in exile in Hawaii
Sept 28, 1990 — 16 of the suspects are sentenced to life imprisonment
July 23, 1991 — High court affirms the conviction
March 8, 2005 — High court denies petition to reopen case
Aug 21, 2007 — Filipino bishops seek pardon for convicts
Nov 22, 2007 — Pablo Martinez, one of the convicts, is released from jail after Gloria Arroyo grants pardon for humanitarian reasons
March 14, 2008 — Mario Lazaga, one of the convicted soldiers, dies of hypertension in prison. Two others convicts have already died in detention since Martinez’s pardon

Cory Aquino, Ninoy’s “plain housewife”, became the first Filipina President and the first female president of any country in Asia, died on 01 August 2009 after a long battle with cancer.


Prior to his ill-fated return to the Philippines, Ninoy Aquino said, “The Filipino is worth dying for.” It is really apt to call to mind that quote this day, but we should also ask ourselves whether Ninoy’ death have made us worthy as Filipinos. In sacrificing his own life for Filipinos, Ninoy made the ultimate noble act nobody among us could ever repay. Death for the love of the country is the highest form of personal sacrifice only heroes are destined for. But in each one of us, somewhere in the recesses of our Filipino minds, we might have that one thing Ninoy died for: love of country.

This is the land of our birth, the only place we Filipinos could truly call our home. Certain elements might want to break the archipelago into their own little turfs, but still the majority among us believes that the Philippines, and for that matter the Filipinos, have high hopes that the future is looming bright. With the help and grace of God, many of us still believes that the Philippines is not hopeless, corrupt as it might seem to Western world standards. Some of us, ingenious as we are and in our own little ways, are fighting corruption head on without reservations. Some of us need a little prodding, a little push, but when push comes to shove, we do it peacefully and become the talk of the whole world: People Power.

We have a very good Constitution in place, the result of the Constitutional Commission of 1986 approved on 12 October 1986, and accordingly signed by Cecilia Munoz Palma, Ambrosio B. Padilla, Napoleon G. Rama, Ahmad Domocao Alonto, Jose D. Calderon, and 42 other commissioners—virtually all Filipino experts in economics, labor, agrarian reform, family, executive, legislative and judiciary, among other fields of expertise. It took effect upon its ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose, the highest number of affirmative votes for a Constitution in the history of the Philippines, and superseded all previous Constitutions.

Subsequently, a number of laws, ordinances, rules and regulations have been passed and adopted to augment and support this Constitution. Although some of us might criticize them for their lack of spirited implementation, lack of substantial changes to the system they purported to change, or the lack of government money to finance the change in paradigms, the life lessons Ninoy Aquino taught us Filipinos might be the only way to do it: to change things for the better.

Ninoy Aquino, a foremost critic of the then Marcos administration, was followed by a multitude of others bringing attention to issues that the Philippine body politic cared or should care about: the plight of those of us living below the poverty line, the escalating conflict in Mindanao, the deterioration of press freedom, the undermining of the credibility of both Church and the judiciary or the politicized military. Not discounting those who in their thoughts they were entitled for a few minutes of fame or fortune, most of these multitude others truly believe that they are righting what is wrong, bringing to the open for the good of society or the majority, or simply doing what others failed to do or ignored to do.

Just like the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the world might never really know who really ordered the murder of Ninoy Aquino. Yes, there would be viewpoints, books and and other printed materials which would tackle both assassinations, but despite of all these, the truth might never come out and only history would tell whether those vindicated were truly vindicated and the guilty punished. Cory Aquino once said: “It took 11 years from 1972 to 1983 before the people’s movement was really galvanized. Let’s not repeat those 11 years to get to that point.”

As Filipinos, there is a Ninoy Aquino in all of us: love of country. In our own little ways, we could contribute to the betterment of all of us. If we truly love our country, the Philippines, we should all be vigilant of what our own leaders are doing to the country, to its people, and to the environment as embodied in the 1987 Constitution under State Policies and the Bill of Rights.

Doing so, probably Ninoy Aquino’s death might not be for naught, but accelerate political maturity in and economic stability of the country. The Philippines is all we’ve got, and there’s really nothing like it. We, the Filipinos, have done it once; and we could do it again.


Notes:

Rodis, Rodel (2008). Who Ordered Ninoy Killed? Bangkok: AsiaNews, 22-28 August 2008. pp. 15-16. Image snapped from AsiaNews, p. 15. back to text.

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 LicenseDisclaimer: The posts on this site do not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; and unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on The Grey Chronicles.

    Comment by reyadel — 2012.August.20 @ 17:17 | Reply


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