Saturday, May 22, 2010

"Forgiving Was Natural to Ninoy"

A few months after the assassination of her husband in 1983, Corazon Aquino described in an interview the magnanimity of Ninoy towards his opponents. The interview is chapter 18 of 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. Below is an excerpt:
"'What do you most treasure about Ninoy?' I asked. Cory brightened up, her eyes twinkling, and she answered, 'He was a kind & forgiving man. He had warm & friendly feelings for almost everyone.'
"She backtracked about 30 years & remembered when she & Ninoy were newly married. 'He ran for mayor & defeated Nicolas Feliciano who had been mayor of Concepcion for many years. Ninoy knew what it was to lose in that manner & he wanted to be magnanimous. He went out of his way to be friendly to Feliciano,' she narrated.
"'Again when Ninoy ran for the office of vice-governor of Tarlac,' Cory continued, 'the candidate of the other party, Jose 'Apeng' Yap, became very angry because Ninoy carried the entire ticket of his party to victory. Later, Ninoy befriended 'Apeng' & they became the closest of friends....'
"'Some of our friends could not understand how Ninoy could go & talk to Imelda Marcos early in May 1983, when she was in New York. For one thing, Ninoy & I recognized that it was Imelda who arranged Ninoy's trip to the U.S. for treatment when he became ill in 1980. Ninoy felt it was common courtesy to tell Imelda that he wanted to return to the country. In all truthfulness, others more bitterly resented the Marcoses than Ninoy did....'
"Cory said, 'Some people could not understand why he bent over backwards towards his political enemies. But forgiving was natural to Ninoy. He lost his temper quickly. But once he let off steam, he would forget.'"