Friday, August 21, 2009


Today, August 21 is the 26th anniversary of Ninoy's death, and I hate to be a killjoy to his many followers but, the proposal to have Congress declare the late Senator Benigno 'Ninoy' Aquino Jr. and former President Corazon 'Cory' Aquino national heroes is ill-advised. But I guess it's too late to be carping about it now. The Batasan Pambansa recently approved on second reading a joint resolution declaring Corazon Aquino a national hero. So be it. However, generally speaking, the status of national hero cannot be legislated. As the late historian-writer Renato Constantino said in a past column of his - "Ninoy was a martyr. But whether or not he will have the stature of a national hero, we will have to wait historical scrutiny." Legislative action now could create a precedent that may eventually cheapen the concept of a hero.

Many who are now opposed to the idea ask how Ninoy can claim such honors even ahead of others who had done much for the country, such as Andres Bonifacio, Claro M. Recto and Jose P. Laurel. Even the late Justice Jose Abad Santos, who was executed by the Japanese during the Occupation has yet to be officially proclaimed a national hero.

A stinging editorial once said there was need to carefully scrutinize Ninoy's life, including family background. It raised the fact that Ninoy's father was head of the pro-Japanese Kalibapi, which provided aid and comfort to the Japanese invading forces. Ninoy's supporters claim that by giving up his life, he inspired a national upheaval which resulted in the ouster of Ferdinand Marcos and the restoration of democracy in the country. The EDSA Revolution was led by a breakaway group of Marcos people led by Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel Valdez Ramos. Observers say that the proposal may face rough sailing even in the two halls of Congress, where many legislators share Professor Constantino's thesis that the status of a national hero cannot be legislated. Even some friends of Ninoy Aquino admit that a move in Congress to declare him a national hero could backfire on him. His political enemies may bring out derogatory aspects of his life that could blacken his memory in the public mind. Ninoy already occupies a lofty place in the country's history. It may be better to leave things as they are instead of trying to stir up another divisive national debate by having him declared a national hero. Let him rest in peace, his many friends say.

And as for Cory, history books will be kind to her, and in the hearts of the Filipino people, she is far more than that of a national hero. She, to them was their symbol of democracy. So potent is the democratic spirit she has left behind to the nation, even making Senator Mar Roxas originally suggest EDSA be renamed to President Corazon Aquino Avenue, but is now torn and having uncontrollable second thoughts about it simply because the Liberal Party is presently in a dilemna between him and Noynoy Aquino as their party's presidential standard bearer. Mister Palengke-turned-Padyakero now has a yellow streak running through his spine. Mar's true color is now showing - and it's Mar-oon.

(Image from

1 comment:

Jerms said...

It would be ill advised for Ninoy's supporters to elevate him to hero status. As you mentioned, today he enjoys a lofty position in history as someone who fought a so called dictatorship. But let's look at his role more clearly. Did he really start the restoration or was his killing used as a convenient excuse to oust Marcos.
If Marcos wanted Ninoy killed, why did he allow him to go to America for his operation? He could have just let him rot in jail and die a natural death - he had heart disease which prompted a by pass operation. When Ninoy returned to the Philippines, he was on borrowed time, his ticker was on the way out. The bypass was there to alleviate the pain but was already damaged.
Besides, Marcos couldnt order his death because again, like Plaza Miranda, people will point to him as the perpetrator. Marcos was a smart politician, even his detractors say that openly, so he knew better than have him assasinated. He was of use to Marcos alive than dead. Besides, Marcos was on his death bed when Ninoy arrived, he was in a coma and couldnt possibly order it.
There are those of us that believe in conspiracies and the Marcos ouster is full of suggestions that there was a hidden hand in his removal from power. Some hint and with strong evidence that the Americans through, of course the CIA, was not so covert in ousting Marcos. There allegations of account reconciliations of fund transfers from HK based banks to accounts of the so called Cory Cabinets. These funds were used to finance the EDSA crowds, including the Philippine flags used by the rebel soldiers as counter signs to identify them as anti Marcos troops. There were thousands of these patches, not decals but cloth which would take time to manufacture, thereby showing these were purchased ahead of time. Meaning the ouster was planned ahead of time and not instantaneous as Cory's camp states.
Major Malajacan was already arrested and being interrogated a week before Enrile announced his support of Aquino that triggered EDSA.
The helicopters used to strafe Malacanang did not bear the PAF insignia - all of the helicopters were in the control of Marcos troops - but rebel pilots were able to fly over Malacanang. These helicopters were "borrowed" from the Americans, these were even refueled in Clark Air Base.
MORE to come later