With rush, soldiers of the Aviation Security Command (Avsecom) load Ninoy’s body onto a van on the tarmac of the airport. This is one of 12 sequence-shot photos, was taken by Times Journal photographer Recto Mercene. Even as a soldier (2nd from right) pointed a gun at him, Mercene said he just let his camera roll.
Narima dela Cruz remembers Ninoy
Dela Cruz is founding director of the 11-year old Surrey Philippine Independence Day Society (SPIDS).
She posted this on her Facebook page today, August 21, 2019.
My first time ever to re-post on my personal page any from a Philippine official’s page – for all my many years of being a very public Filipino-Canadian community advocate and socio-civic activist. (I may have – a few of those, and without personal comment, on Narima Dela Cruz – Public Page, in the past). My closest friends who know me very well may not be surprised with this but it may – for many who does not really know where my heart lies – when it comes to Philippine politics. While I respect the stand of the utterly Philippine politics-enthusiastic Filipinos in Canada – even if most of them, quite frankly, no longer have a direct say in Philippine politics any longer (i.e. non-voters), and while I have a number of friends, followers, and community allies who are for the other side of Philippine political fence and I have since respected their opinions, stand and many posts — TODAY, August 21 – is a day to uphold my own hero.
I have been, and will always be, a NINOY & CORY admirer and adherent. Former Senator Ninoy Aquino is technically, if authorship and history is to be considered, my University days benefactor. I finished my studies partly because of the work that Ninoy Aquino has done with regard to Philippine education. It is because of my undying love and utmost respect for both of them that I will always give a benefit of the doubt to any accusation and criticism for their son, former Philippine President, Benigno Aquino III, as I do believe that an apple does not fall far from the tree (given my own family example, modesty aside). It is likely for that same reason why I instantly fell in love with the young Kris Aquino when she was starting to be visible – I even made a memorabilia album of her (and of Cory, separately) – not sure if my inay still keep those in our home in the Philippines. I do still follow (and admire most times) the indomitable Kris through the years of the many ups and downs in her life as she continues to fascinate me to this day (despite her flaws, but who does not have?) and I do still read her intellectual, courageous, interesting, at times funny and no holds barred, blogs and posts.
Today is Ninoy Aquino’s 36th year death anniversary – still without justice, and as justice in my country of birth sadly continues to plummet, I can’t help but be sad in remembering Ninoy, thus this melancholic, patriotic, long straight-from-the-heart post.
No amount of fake news, horrible memes, and rewriting of history can change what Benigno Aquino & Corazon Cojuangco Aquino contributed to Philippine democracy and history. That is a legacy, noble and great, which is acknowledged and recognized by people of integrity – respected and credible historians and many leaders of the world.
And to borrow VP Leni Robredo‘s words “The simple truth is, Ninoy Aquino was a Filipino who gave his life for his country. His love for his homeland was seen not in easy talk or slick PR stunts, but instead blazed brightly through long years of imprisonment, of exile, and in the end, of martyrdom. Many talk about being willing to die for our country. Ninoy was one of the courageous few who actually did.”
Happy Ninoy Aquino Day to those who, like me, will forever etch his name in great memory. #Ninoywillalwaysbemyhero 💛
Thirty six years ago, Ninoy Aquino came back from exile to resume the long, often lonely, fight for freedom in his beloved Philippines, which had for over a decade suffered under the rapacious Marcos regime. Moments after his return, his blood would stain the tarmac of the airport that now bears his name, his life taken by an assassin’s bullet.
Every Filipino alive at that time remembers where they were when Ninoy fell. It was the defining moment for an entire generation: a moment that would inspire a movement that would ultimately bring down the dictator three years later, and bring about a restoration of the freedom Ninoy had given up his life and liberty fighting for. As a young probinsiyana at the University of the Philippines, it marked my own political epiphany, opening my eyes to the urgency of the struggle against dictatorship and the imperative for all Filipinos to take a hand in the grand effort to reclaim our freedom.
These days, it has become fashionable among certain quarters to dismiss the significance of Ninoy’s sacrifice, or worse, to question the validity of the movement it inspired. These days, there are those who insist, out of self-interest or ignorance, that the Marcos regime “was not so bad after all,” pushing a revised version of history that is not only dishonest but dangerous.
The simple truth is, Ninoy Aquino was a Filipino who gave his life for his country. His love for his homeland was seen not in easy talk or slick PR stunts, but instead blazed brightly through long years of imprisonment, of exile, and in the end, of martyrdom. Many talk about being willing to die for our country. Ninoy was one of the courageous few who actually did.
Ninoy, of course, was not the only patriot who made the ultimate sacrifice so that our nation could be free again. Thousands of Filipinos fell during the dark years of dictatorship, resisting till their last breath the cruelty and corruption it brought. Thousands more were estranged from their families, were thrown into prison, were subjected to brutality and humiliation. Many of them remain nameless and unheralded in our memorials and history books.
So when we celebrate the 21st of August, it is not just Ninoy Aquino we remember, but all those like him, both the nameless and the heralded, who gave of themselves so that we could be free. In this remembrance, we express both our deepest gratitude for the sacrifices made on our behalf, and, perhaps more significantly, our persistent commitment to defend the freedom they won back for us.