PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd is no longer itching to find out and get even with the alleged mastermind behind the 1983 killing of his father, former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.
According to Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda, the President neither spoke about the subject nor mentioned interest in seeking out those who may have ordered the killing of Ninoy at the tarmac of the then-Manila International Airport. He said it was not in Aquino’s priorities.
“He has never told us who [the alleged]mastermind is. We never asked him… As far as we are concerned, it was never discussed with us,” Lacierda said in a news briefing on Tuesday.
In a speech he delivered during his “homecoming” in Boston, Massachussets, on Sunday afternoon (Monday morning in Manila), Aquino revealed that he had wanted to exact revenge against then-President Ferdinand Marcos and his “ilk” after his father’s assassination.
According to Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., who accompanied the President to the US, Aquino is no longer in the same emotional state 31 years after his father’s assassination.
Coloma described such state as “an initial reaction that, early on, he [the President]learned to overcome.”
“He realized that his mother and his siblings had a responsibility to carry on what his father had begun, and that this will be done out of a sense of duty to country and people, and without anger or bitterness toward anyone,” the Palace official said of the country’s incumbent leader’s take on the tragedy that visited his family on August 21, 1983.
Lacierda said while Aquino carried such “rage,” it did not translate to physically going after Ninoy’s killers.
He added that the experience was a “burden” that members of the Aquino family will have to carry throughout their lives.
“The President recognizes it’s a personal burden the family has to carry but being President he has other priorities. There are other priorities. Number one priority is that he has to govern the country and make sure he improves the lives of [Filipinos],” Lacierda said.
“In his nearly five years [as President], he has not made any mention [about the assassination’s brains,” he added.
But Dante Jimenez, founding chairman of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, said Aquino as President has an obligation to the nation to bring closure to Ninoy’s case.
The President, according to Jimenez, should exert efforts in unmasking the brains behind the assassination of his father.
“Saying that he wanted revenge against Marcos is uncalled for, what he should do [instead]is bring closure by completing the investigation and identifying who is behind the murder,” he said.
“But unless the real mastermind is identified, the issue will continue to haunt our country,” Jimenez added.
WITH A REPORT FROM JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA