Malacañang has called on Filipinos to reflect on the life of former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and to contribute to building a stronger democratic and progressive nation.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., expressed hopes that Ninoy’s example will continue to “inspire generations of Filipinos to overcome difficulties and challenges in attaining their aspirations for a better future.”
“As we celebrate his 32nd death anniversary, it is well to reaffirm the duty of every Filipino citizen to contribute to building a stronger democracy and a more prosperous and inclusive society,” he said.
Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the late senator returned to the country and proved that “the Filipino is worth dying for” despite warnings and fears for his safety.
“His death served as the prime catalyst for the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, which eventually ended the 20-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos,” Lacierda added.
Aquino, the leader of the opposition to the Marcos regime, was assassinated on August 21, 1983 as he was escorted by soldiers out of the plane that took him home from exile in the United States.
His killing drew widespread outrage and emboldened Filipinos to show their opposition to the regime. Continued mass actions against the government prompted President Marcos to call for snap elections in 1986. Claims of widespread electoral fraud led to the People Power revolution that resulted in Marcos’ ouster.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd along with his siblings and immediate family members went to the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City to offer prayers before the senator’s tomb.
Earlier in the day, groups led by the Ninoy Aquino Movement (NAM) and the August Twenty One Movement (ATOM), also paid tribute to Sen. Aquino at the exact spot where he was assassinated 32 years ago.
A Mass was held at the tarmac of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, before a metal plate that marks the exact spot where Ninoy lay bloodied on August 21, thirty-two years ago.
A program was also held, organized by NAM along with ATOM and other organizations.
Members of ATOM led by former NAIA General Manager Reli German and former Sen. Heherson Alvarez, founding president of NAM, led the floral offering.
Former Vice President Teofisto Guingona, who was also a prominent leader of the opposition to the Marcos regime, and late senator Agapito “Butz” Aquino received the Ninoy Aquino Medal of Valor during the short program that followed.
Butz formed the Atom after the death of his elder brother. Atom went on to become the main mover in the 1986 People Power Revolution.