Friday, August 21, 2009

The Death and Martyrdom of Ninoy Aquino Jr

      On Friday, it will be 26 years after the shameless killing of Ninoy Aquino at the tarmac. More than anything else, Ninoy's assassination is the fuse that lit the people's collective anger against the Marcos dictatorship.

      To this day, there are many questions that remain – chief among them the brains behind the killing. From a legal viewpoint, all those who could be charged with the crime had been convicted and served their respective sentences, the biggest part of the puzzle continues to be elusive.

      One reason why Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino refuses to break bread with the convicts is his contention that they have not been forthright as far as the mastermind of the killing is concerned. It is amazing how they continue to profess innocence to this day not only as far as the actual shooting is concerned but what they knew of the murder.

      Indeed, if admission of guilt is the first step to repentance, then they continue to be unrepentant to this day. Aside from the guilt arising from the commission of the crime, they continue to be liable for the wholesale deception of a nation.

      The unanswered question notwithstanding, the killing was the one single answer to the quest for democracy then. Although democracy did not come on a silver platter, and certainly not in the days after the crime, it came less than six years later.

      It should be worthy to note that the nation marks the 26th anniversary of the killing just as the fears of another dictatorship loom large and real. In spite of MalacaƱang's denial to the contrary, there are fresh revelations of the present tenant's expressed intention to resort to military rule.

      This administration's flirtation with dictatorship is not difficult to believe given its propensity to disregard legal, moral and ethical rules whenever it fears for its survival. Power is always an attractive proposition to those who wield it.

      If there is any lesson that the Aquino assassination taught the power-mad, it is the frightening fury of a people who have had enough. It should be a constant reminder to all those who entertain illusions that they can be the exceptions.

      At the same time however, Ninoy's assassination should likewise be a reminder that lessons need to be learned not only by those who went through the experience but all those who are in danger of going through it all over again.

      The tragedy of learning from experience is never learning from it at all. In this regard, it should serve Filipinos in good stead to revisit the lesson lest we forget.

      Yesterday's ghosts are just as real today as they were then. - Editorial, Bohol Sunday Post

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