21 August 2015

President Aquino commemorates 32nd death anniversary of father, Ninoy Aquino
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday marked the 32nd death anniversary of his father, former senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City.

The President arrived at the memorial park at 10:46 a.m., and was welcomed by former Manila City Mayor Alfredo Lim, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, and sisters, Maria Elena “Ballsy” Aquino-Cruz, Aurora Corazon “Pinky” Aquino-Abellada, and Victoria Elisa “Viel” Aquino-Dee.

The Aquino family and friends said the rosary, with Viel, Ballsy, Pinky, Secretary Gazmin’s wife Rhodora Gazmin, and Ballsy’s son Jiggy Cruz taking turns leading the prayer.

After the prayers, President Aquino visited the mausoleum of his grandparents, a few steps away from Ninoy’s tomb.

In a statement issued earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, said Ninoy Aquino’s assassination “inspired millions to fight against the dictatorship through peaceful means. Today, these sentiments remain strong even among those who were not yet around at the time, as history has seared this image of ultimate sacrifice into our collective memory.”

Secretary Lacierda noted that the years between Ninoy Aquino’s assassination in 1983 and former president Ferdinand Marcos’ departure in 1986 were “characterized by the very values that the senator espoused” in the speech that he was to deliver upon his return from the United States.

These are “faith, unity, and nonviolent struggle. His words—‘the willing sacrifice of the innocent is the most powerful answer to insolent tyranny’—rang especially true in light of his assassination, and served to empower the Filipino people during the revolution,” he added.

Ninoy Aquino was assassinated on August 21, 1983 at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport as he was stepping off the plane that brought him back to Manila after three years of self-exile in the United States.

His death triggered a chain of events that led to the overthrow of Marcos in 1986, and the election of Ninoy’s widow, Corazon Aquino, as president. PND (ag)

President Aquino attends mass for father Ninoy, Uncle Butz
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday attended a Mass dedicated to his father, the late senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., and uncle, former lawmaker Agapito “Butz” Aquino.

Father Manoling Francisco celebrated the Mass at the De La Salle Green Hills for Ninoy Aquino, whose 32nd death anniversary was commemorated on Friday (August 21).

Butz Aquino, whose cremated remains were at the De La Salle Chapel, died last Monday (August 17) due to complications from various ailments.

The President was accompanied by Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino, Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Secretary Francisco Pangilinan, and Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Roland Llamas.

Viel Aquino-Dee and Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, the President’s sisters, were also present.

August 21 is a non-working holiday commemorating the assassination of Ninoy Aquino on August 21, 1983.

Aquino was a prominent critic of former president Ferdinand Marcos. When Marcos declared Martial Law in September 1972, Aquino was one of those imprisoned.

While in prison, he continued to campaign for democracy and even stood for election.

In 1980, he suffered two heart attacks and was permitted to seek medical treatment in the United States, where he remained in exile for about three years.

On August 21, 1983, while he was being escorted off the airplane at the Manila International Airport following his arrival from the US, he was shot dead.

The assassination led to a political upheaval in the Philippines and in 1986, after a snap presidential election, his widow Corazon Aquino was elected president.

Butz Aquino, Ninoy’s younger brother, played a significant role in the 1986 EDSA revolution.

As a legislator, his legacy includes the Magna Carta for Small Farmers and the Cooperative Code of the Philippines.

Butz Aquino also served as a member of the House of Representatives. PND (as)