Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ninoy Aquino: Hero Who Could Cry

Below is an excerpt from the book "A Hero Worth Living For" (ISBN 978-971-91523-9-2), written and published by veteran journalist and teacher, Alice Colet Villadolid, in 2007. The excerpt (pp. 104-5) shows Benigno 'Ninoy' Aquino, Jr. as a "freedom fighter who could blush and cry." Villadolid wrote:

Soon after Ninoy's brutal assassination on August 21, 1983, I was recalling memories of him with his best friend, Salvador 'Doy' Laurel who would later become vice president. Doy remembered how in the month before Ninoy was killed, they were together in San Francisco, USA. They decided to see the movie "Gandhi" at a neighborhood theater. Doy recalled, "Scenes showing demonstrators being bludgeoned brought tears to his eyes. I felt like crying too. It had a special appeal to us being both in the Opposition. As Gandhi fasted to [near] death in the movie, we both cried."

In June 1983, another Opposition figure met with him in New York City. Raul M. Gonzalez had been one of Ninoy's defense lawyers when he ran and won a senatorial seat in 1967 [and when he was tried by a military tribunal under Martial Law]. The opponent had moved to disqualify him on the ground he had violated the legal minimum age requirement that he should have been at least 35 when elected senator.

Gonzalez told me in an interview, "Ninoy fought this legal battle with prodigiousness and skill. He argued before the Electoral Tribunal that the term 'election' in the law referred to the entire process, from balloting through counting of votes and proclaiming the results. So he would have reached the minimum age for a senator when he was proclaimed elected."

Gonzalez recalled that in the 1983 meeting in New York City, he had accompanied Ninoy to the Time-Life Building for an interview: "Then he went shopping around Times Square. He was looking for an E.T. doll for his daughter Kris. We could not find any. Yet he kept on walking, looking into every shop for the doll. 'Kris will be so disappointed I did not find it,' Ninoy said."

1 comment:

  1. interesting post:) allow me to share my tribute:) cheers!