Plain and Simple: The murder of Ninoy

I had just left the Brothers of the Sacred Heart that year (1983), and from Digos, I lived in Davao City for a job at a local college.

I followed Senator Ninoy Aquino’s life because he was a colorful politico despite his age. He was young, but he learned the political ropes so early in life.

Like any politico, Ninoy was a trapo (traditional politician). In fact I would say he was ruthless like his nemesis at that time. He had a way of campaigning that could be called unorthodox. While every politico was doing the campaign like everyone else, Ninoy took a different path.

I read a lot about him in books and magazines. I was simply flabbergasted by his gift of gab. He spoke so well and with substance. That was why he was always a hit in extemporaneous speaking.

He was a communicator par excellence and the great thing about him is he was so young. He was only 22 when he was mayor of his hometown and governor when he was 29. So young, and so politico. When he became senator, he was short of the legal age for the Senate. But he sat as one. This you should know.

But back to his being a perfect politico. Since Mr. Marcos saw in him as the man who could shake his presidency and leadership, Ninoy got the ire of Mr. Marcos. It was a long protracted battle between the two of them all belonging, to the same frat in UP.

Ninoy had issues with his brod. He was dictator and Ninoy was fighting for democracy. Dictatorship did not sit well with most of our Filipinos. So Ninoy took the side of those against the dictatorship.

So Ninoy fought the dictatorship. And for this the dictatorship of Marcos arrested him and put him behind bars. Ninoy was even convicted by the military court created by Mr Marcos to try him for many crimes.

Probably Ninoy was ruthless as a politico, but he had a conversion, a metanoia of heart.

While Marcos tried to break his spirit by putting him behind bars, Ninoy went to his faith to embrace his fate. Marcos could not break him.

To protest the military court, Ninoy fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, and he collapsed later but his indomitable spirit prevailed. He was imprisoned in Fort Bonifacio. And here Ninoy argued with his God.

He finally surrendered to his God. So while in Bonifacio, he prayed his rosary. It gave him the strength. He suffered a heart attack while in prison and Marcos allowed him to undergo bypass surgery in the U.S. But after staying in the states, Ninoy decided to go home to Pinas against the advice of his peers.
But Ninoy was determined. He tried to find ways so he could go home. Read your history on him, you will know. That interview with Jun Tania of Radio Veritas says it all. He knew he would be killed.

But he went home. He only wanted to talk to Marcos, his brod, to restore democracy. But it was not to be. He was murdered in the tarmac of what is now the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

At that time a sea of yellow welcomed him, with this song all over the country “Oh tie a yellow ribbon down the old oak tree…” The opposition at that time tied yellow ribbons all over the to symbolize hope and democracy..

The sea of humanity who joined his funeral show they were all there for freedom and democracy, not for dictatorship.

Today August 21, we remember. We pray for the man who fought with his life for our freedom and democracy. His sacrifice and his death should not be in vain.

Posted in Opinion