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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Friday, August 18, 2006

Remembering Ninoy

1983 was my senior year in De La Salle University.  That year, I defended my Communication Arts thesis, a film project entitled “Kahapon Hanggang Bukas” where my film collaborator was Emmanuel “Nuel” Naval. Unlike me where I proceeded to study law, Nuel pursued his film craft and eventually became an Urian Awardee.  To the best of my knowledge, he is currently connected with Star Cinema and directs some episodes for  ABS-CBN’s “Maalaala Mo Kaya”.

But in August 1983, I was just about to finish my university education.  It was the last term of my schooling and all I had were the minor subjects which I have purposely left behind in order to focus on my major course.    

That morning of the 21st, I remember being on the 3rd floor of the Benilde Building. The day before, there was talk that Ninoy Aquino was coming home to engage the Marcos regime once more.  I had seen and heard Ninoy speak through smuggled video cassette tapes. I remember one particular video cassette where he spoke on a podium and spoke flawlessly, without an idiot board, on  the Marcos regime, Marcos’ poor health and his conversion experience in prison.  I could not help but be dazzled by his delivery and the substance of his speech. No wonder Marcos felt threatened with his return.

And so, on that fateful morning, while waiting for my next class, we heard that  Ninoy’s plane has landed.  And even if most of my generation never knew the pre-martial law Ninoy, most of us in La Salle were exhilarated to know that Ninoy is coming home to fight the evil empire.  There was a barker who kept us all informed of the goings-on in the Manila International Airport (“MIA).  Then, we heard what would become THE watershed event for the last half of 20th century Philippines.

Ninoy was shot.

The whole student population in Benilde Building just exploded.  Some in anger, some in shock, some were outrage, and most of us were in disbelief.  How could Marcos possibly do a brazen act in the light of day and in the presence of local and foreign media? I just could not believe that this could be happening.  That day, the students did not care what the teachers were teaching, the teachers taught lackadaisically and La Salle, known for its snootiness, became politicized overnight. Superman died that day in MIA.  

On that day as well, his immortal words “The Filipino is worth dying for” suddenly gained currency and relevance among disbelievers, skeptics and the apathetic middle class.
His death was not in vain.  People ran out of the streets, demonstrations became widespread, criticism became more common and bolder, the opposition eventually learned to shed off its crab mentality and eventually, galvanized the populace against Marcos, culminating in the First People Power Revolution where I, along with others, contributed to the downfall of a repressive regime.

Ninoy’s 23rd death anniversary is approaching soon and we see a people similarly situated and similarly apathetic.  It is this reason that GMA has brazenly murdered the democratic institutions with nary a whimper from the middle class. The latter is much divided, the opposition has no frontliner and she rules with an iron hand and runs roughshod over what is good and righteous.

On August 21, let us take stock of what transpired the day Ninoy Aquino was shot and the lessons learned from his death.  Let us also compare the situation we have today, the government’s attitude of impunity, brazenness and total disregard for the rights of its people.  

It is for those of us who believe that Ninoy’s death has meaning to stay the course and fight the good fight.  It is for those of us who believe that the Filipino is worth dying for to continue hammering on justice and good government.  We who benefited from Ninoy’s death and have tasted what true freedom is can not afford to be complacent and indifferent to the political crisis that besets this country.  We cannot move on until and unless justice is served.  

At the very least, we owe it to Ninoy.

At the very least, Ninoy expects it no less from us.



Blogger mama_aly said...

my older kids and i watched PETA's "Walang Himala" --- a play on EDSA and where we are now. It proposes interesting insights on why it took us so long to get to EDSA and why we didn't really get very far. you should see it with your teenager too :D

6:50 AM  
Blogger NJbabe said...

Time do fly....it is just so sad that what was evil then is acceptable now. Such is politics in our country and Filipinos tend to forget our history, or shall we say tend to look the other way around. I am still hoping that what Ninoy said "is" right for a lot of our heroes would have died in vain. For we are still Filipino even if a lot of us live in other countries. I salute people who chose to be there and try to uplift what still remains.

9:11 PM  
Blogger RUMMEL PINERA said...



Dear Progressive Comrades,

I would like to propose to your organization/ state agency the idea that Mr.

Kofi Annan should now voluntarily resign from his current post as U.N. Secretary-

General. I would like to request your state agency/ organization to peacefully and

lawfully appeal to Mr. Kofi Annan to voluntarily resign from being the Secretary-General

of the U.N., and, after resigning from such position, convince his colleagues at the U.N.

headquarters to implement reforms that will truly democratize the whole structure of the

U.N. Organization. I believe that Mr. Annan has done great works for the U.N. Org

as the United Nations' Secretary-General. But his works at the U.N. Org didn't pave

the way for the United Nations' Organization to completely embrace democratic

procedures and processes. So, Mr. Kofi Annan should gracefully resign now from his

position as the U.N. Org's Secretary-General.

I hope that your state agency/ organization will also peacefully and lawfully

call for the democratization of the U.N. Organization. I would also like your state

agency/ organization to support the nomination of Miss Aung San Suu Kyi as the new

Secretary-General of the U.N.. Miss Aung San Suu Kyi is the most eligible person in

this world right now who can replace Mr. Kofi Annan. Miss Aung San Suu Kyi's

ascension as the new Secretary-General would give the U.N. Organization's

democratization a better chance to succeed. I hope that your state agency/

organization will support these proposals. Our group is called the LEAGUE OF

POLITICAL ABROGATIONISTS or the L.P.A.. Our group is advocating real, global and

moral democracy through peaceful and lawful means. I hope that your state agency/ organization

will effectively support the mentioned proposals in this message. Thanks.



Chairman of the LEAGUE OF



10:48 AM  

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