Ninoy Aquino said, “The Filipino is worth dying for.”
In retrospect, Twenty Five (25) years after Ninoy Aquino’s death, only his murderer, the alleged hired killer, Rolando Galman (RIP) and the other alleged conspirators, (mostly members of the defunct AVSECOM-MIA), now languishing and serving their sentence in the National Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City, have been convicted.
Until now, these convicts are still denying their participations in the alleged grand conspiracy in killing Ninoy Aquino.
But what/how about the alleged mastermind of this heinous crime of all time? Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda Marcos, Fabian Ver & Danding Cojuangco, et al..
Imelda Marcos and Danding Conjuangco were not formally charged nor indicted for their alleged participations in the conspiracy, same thing with the late Ferdinand Marcos, who is now 6ft. below the ground, and also the late Fabian Ver was acquitted already by the Sandigan Bayan many years back. Similarly, the Agrava Fact Finding Commission, which was established by the government then to conduct full-blown investigation on Ninoy’s death, has concluded that his (Ninoy) death was part of the grand military conspiracy.
In his grave probably, Ninoy is still crying out for justice, his ghost continues to haunt his real killer/s, and we, Filipinos, are likewise crying out loud for justice to Ninoy. And hoping to see the light ahead.
Ladies & gentlemen, boys & girls, Today, August 21, 2008, we are celebrating the 25th Death Anniversary of one of our National Heroes, “Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr.
truly, Republic Act No. 9256 was passed and approved in to law on February 25, 2004, AN ACT DECLARING AUGUST 21 OF EVERY YEAR AS NINOY AQUINO DAY, A SPECIAL NONWORKING HOLIDAY, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES”
Apparently, prior to said event, president GMA has issued an order commemorating Ninoy’s death on August 18, 2008 instead of August 21 as what the law provides, and declared the former date as non working holiday.
In restrospect, when Ferdinand Marcos declared Presidential Decree 1081 on September 21, 1972 placing the entire country under Martial Law, the Writ of Habeas Corpus was suspended. Many Filipinos were arrested for subversion including Ninoy. He was arrested, imprisoned and exiled along with the other activists at that time. He suffered a heart attack and was put on exile in the United States. He decided to come back to the Philippines on August 21, 1983 at the expense of his own life.
“if it’s my fate to die by an assassin’s bullet, so be it”.
His death ignited the hearts of every Filipino, who longed for freedom and were long sufferers of a country governed by a dictator. His death catapulted the EDSA Revolution, famously known as “People Power.”
Until now, the perpetrators of his assassination were not yet convicted. His case is one of the mysteries in history that will never be unveiled although deep in our hearts (Filipinos) we know who the mastermind/s was/is – are/were.
“The Filipino is worth dying for.”
Twenty five years after Ninoy’s death, in retrospect, is the Filipino still worth dying for?
Today, heroes are only found on the peso bills, decorative statues on building façade, parks, and streets, and institutions named on their behalf.
His death has in fact triggered the EDSA revolution that toppled the former dictator Marcos from Malacañang, and installed Cory Aquino to presidency.
The younger generation today lost the fire that ignited the revolution in EDSA. Twenty five years have passed since Ninoy’s death and 22 years after EDSA “People Power” Revolution… What happen now? The answer is yours!
Some writers say, we need another Ninoy to fuel our nationalism/love of country, not just loving oneself, one’s family, or loving one’s community.
I do not have the authority to preach, teach, or dictate about the current level of nationalism of us, Filipinos, but I could definitely say that we have forgotten the true meaning of Ninoy’s death and the true message of EDSA UNITY, FREEDOM, JUSTICE, and PEACE!
Analogous to this, I would like to quote & reproduce hereunder the most famous undelivered and never read speech in Philippine history of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. This speech, as we all know, was made and prepared by him while he was still in the United States, or said speech was drafted prior to his arrival in the Philippine soil on August 21, 1983. And, as expected based on his premonition, and apprehension, upon his arrival at MIA Tarmac, he was brutally murdered point blank, and failed to deliver his message to the entire Filipino people.
The UNDELIVERED SPEECH!
By Ninoy Aquino, Jr.
“I have returned on my free will to join the ranks of those struggling to restore our rights and freedoms through nonviolence.
I seek no confrontation. I only pray and will strive for a genuine national reconciliation founded on justice.
I am prepared for the worst, and have decided against the advice of my mother, my spiritual adviser, many of my tested friends and a few of my most valued political mentors.
A death sentence awaits me. Two more subversion charges, both calling for death penalties, have been filed since I left three years ago and are now pending with the courts.
I could have opted to seek political asylum in America, but I feel it is my duty, as it is the duty of every Filipino, to suffer with his people especially in time of crisis.
I never sought nor have I been given assurances or promise of leniency by the regime. I return voluntarily armed only with a clear conscience and fortified in the faith that in the end justice will emerge triumphant.
According to Gandhi, the WILLING sacrifice of the innocent is the most powerful answer to insolent tyranny that has yet been conceived by God and man.
Three years ago when I left for an emergency heart bypass operation, I hoped and prayed that the rights and freedoms of our people would soon be restored, that living conditions would improve and that blood-letting would stop.
Rather than move forward, we have moved backward. The killings have increased, the economy has taken a turn for the worse and the human rights situation has deteriorated.
During the martial law period, the Supreme Court heard petitions for Habeas Corpus. It is most ironic, after martial law has allegedly been lifted, that the Supreme Court last April ruled it can no longer entertain petitions for Habeas Corpus for persons detained under a Presidential Commitment Order, which covers all so-called national security cases and which under present circumstances can cover almost anything.
The country is far advanced in her times of trouble. Economic, social and political problems bedevil the Filipino. These problems may be surmounted if we are united. But we can be united only if all the rights and freedoms enjoyed before September 21, 1972 are fully restored.
The Filipino asks for nothing more, but will surely accept nothing less, than all the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the 1935 Constitution — the most sacred legacies from the Founding Fathers.
Yes, the Filipino is patient, but there is a limit to his patience. Must we wait until that patience snaps?
The nation-wide rebellion is escalating and threatens to explode into a bloody revolution. There is a growing cadre of young Filipinos who have finally come to realize that freedom is never granted, it is taken. Must we relive the agonies and the blood-letting of the past that brought forth our Republic or can we sit down as brothers and sisters and discuss our differences with reason and goodwill?
I have often wondered how many disputes could have been settled easily had the disputants only dared to define their terms.
So as to leave no room for misunderstanding, I shall define my terms:
1. Six years ago, I was sentenced to die before a firing squad by a Military Tribunal whose jurisdiction I steadfastly refused to recognize. It is now time for the regime to decide. Order my IMMEDIATE EXECUTION OR SET ME FREE.
I was sentenced to die for allegedly being the leading communist leader. I am not a communist, never was and never will be.
2. National reconciliation and unity can be achieved but only with justice, including justice for our Muslim and Ifugao brothers. There can be no deal with a Dictator. No compromise with Dictatorship.
3. In a revolution there can really be no victors, only victims. We do not have to destroy in order to build.
4. Subversion stems from economic, social and political causes and will not be solved by purely military solutions; it can be curbed not with ever increasing repression but with a more equitable distribution of wealth, more democracy and more freedom, and
5. For the economy to get going once again, the workingman must be given his just and rightful share of his labor, and to the owners and managers must be restored the hope where there is so much uncertainty if not despair.
On one of the long corridors of Harvard University are carved in granite the words of Archibald Macleish:
“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms; by truth when it is attacked by lies; by democratic faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, and in the final act, by determination and faith.”
I return from exile and to an uncertain future with only determination and faith to offer — faith in our people and faith in God.”
-End of Speech-
This is a very informative one, and considered as one of the famous political speeches of all time in Philippine History.
Until Now, or 25 years after Ninoy was assassinated, the real mastermind of the killing and other conspirators have yet to be indicted in court or convicted.
Justice to Ninoy is justice to all.