Ninoy – Benigno Simeon Aquino, Jr., is not just a face in the Php 500 bill; nor just the father of the current Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III. Ninoy was the husband of the late president Corazon ‘Cory’ C. Aquino, a Filipino Senator and a former Governor of Tarlac. Ninoy was born on November 27, 1932.
Today, August 21, we commemorate Ninoy’s 30th death anniversary and his martyrdom. He was assassinated at the Manila International Airport in 1983 upon returning from his self-imposed exile. His death catapulted his widow, Cory, into the political limelight, and prompted her to run for President as member of the UNIDO party in the 1986 snap elections.
Among other public structures, Manila International Airport has since been renamed Ninoy Aquino International Airport in his honour, and the anniversary of his death is a national holiday. See official statement from Malacañang on PCDSPO’s online observance of Ninoy Aquino’s 30th Death Anniversary.
To many, Ninoy is a hero. He vowed to fight tyranny and corruption during his days. Ninoy’s last speech supposed to be read on August 21, 1983 include these words “I have returned on my free will to join the ranks of those struggling to restore our (Filipino’s) rights and freedoms through non-violence. I seek no confrontation. I only pray and will strive for a genuine national reconciliation founded on justice. I return from exile and to an uncertain future with only determination and faith to offer — faith in our people and faith in God.”
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