Exactly a week after the 23rd EDSA 1 commemoration (which was very notable due to the absence of the current Philippine president) was another remarkable day in history as the Malacanang Palace boasted her gesture of ‘political-wound healing’ by sending those convicts out of jail. It’s indeed a celebration for the family and friends of those who received the pardon, while it’s an absolute day of lamentation in the household and supporters of the former Sen. Ninoy Aquino, Jr.
August 26, 1983 - Friday; RJ's 4th Birthday Party
Photo taken 5 days after Ninoy's assasination.
WHO AM I TO SPEAK or to write about the issue here? I feel that I’m not in the right position to comment on this very sensitive matter because I am just an ordinary chook-minder who, 25 years earlier, was completely INNOCENT celebrating my 4th birthday in North Cotabato five days after Ninoy shed his blood on the tarmac of the Manila International Airport.
I WAS ONLY SIX and a half years old during the 1986 People Power Revolution, a grade 1 pupil of Bialong Elementary School who indeliberately heard, “Tama na, sobra na, palitan na!” over the local radio station; a young boy who had unintentionally seen the waves of the meaningful hand gestures and imagined the two political parties being separately wrapped in red and yellow cloths on the screen of my grandmother’s black and white TV. In the succeeding years I had turned into a ‘promdi’ adolescent who met the Aquinoes and their family's immortal, political rival only in the history books; and finally transformed into a young professional who has been seeing the re-enactments and dramatization of the Martial Regime on the award-winning movies.
RJ with Lola Abe.
March 1986, Bialong Elementary School Recognition Day
Approximately a month after the People Power Revolution.
Last January 15, 2007 at exactly 5:10pm, I left my beloved country—Philippines, thru the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. That’s the only thing I had in close contact with ‘Ninoy’ since birth, and oh, before I forget... when I flew to Australia that day, I still have a 500 peso bill in my wallet.
These days, it seems that Ninoy Aquino is simply just the father of the controversial actress and a witty host Ms. Kris Aquino; he was also the man who has literally given his full name to Sen. Noynoy Aquino III; and the late husband of ex-President Cory Aquino who is currently fighting her battle against colon cancer, whose favourite colour is unmistakably yellow. [And a man whose family name is the same as the middle name of my late father, huh! Kamag-anak?!]
I don’t know if Malacanang’s decision to release the convicted killers of the proclaimed Philippine hero Ninoy Aquino, Jr. was the best ‘suture material’ that will excellently help in the ‘primary intention healing’ of the political wounds incised using the sharp scalpels of EDSA I and II (and if I may include, as well as the unhonoured EDSA III). I’m not really sure if the actual wound healing has already started because there seem to be an erroneous wound debridement on the ‘heart’ of the Aquino family as Senator Noynoy was quoted calling this clemency as a solid proof of injustice.
After more than 25 years, these convicts (who were active members of the Philippine Army when Ninoy was murdered) are still claiming their INNOCENCE on this crime. How about the inside story? Can we safely say that the truth behind this case has already been moulded with the ‘wax’—where the facts haven’t been buried but displayed behind the lying wax statue inside the museum, instead? I definitely don’t know!
Ninoy’s heroism was once ironically equated into a funny jig performed after the successful voting against the opening of the controversial second envelope during ex-Pres. Estrada’s impeachment trial.How about tomorrow? How would my grandchildren identify ex-Sen. Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino, Jr.? I am scared that in the future ‘Ninoy’ would only mean a dilapidated aircraft passenger terminal; or Ninoy would soon become an unnoticeable carved stone in the middle of Makati’s empty skyscrapers; and possibly, Ninoy’s value could only be as worthless as our rapidly depreciating five hundred peso bill!
"The Filipino is worth dying for!"-Benigno 'Ninoy' Aquino, Jr.