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Tonyo Cruz @tonyocruz
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Honoring #NinoyAquino: a thread
In the same way that history books elevate traitors at the expense of Andres Bonifacio, an ongoing campaign of historical revisionism exalts dictatorship by demonizing Ninoy Aquino and other freedom-fighters.
Ninoy was the most popular anti-Marcos leader which was no surprise because he was young, brilliant, articulate and represented the promise of a better future for the country. He was considered a shoo-in in a free and open election to challenge the brutal klepto Marcos.
There are many videos on YouTube showing us snapshots of the brilliance and courage of Ninoy. One of them is that of a historic TV interview he sought while he was detained as a matter of fairness. It was spectacular. No wonder Marcos felt absolutely scared and threatened.
Demonizing Ninoy Aquino and other bright stars of the broad united front that challenged the Marcos dictatorship is important to those who wish to revise history and to make both the old and new dictatorship look good.
The Marcos dictatorship mistakenly thought that by extrajudicially killing Ninoy, they would kill the broad opposition. The reverse happened: Ninoy’s murder enraged the public and helped propel big mass actions defying the dictatorship.
While in prison, Ninoy rediscovered the idea of People Power. From inside the jail, he formed the Lakas ng Bayan (Laban) party. It would later merge with Pimentel’s PDP based in Mindanao.
Leading to the 1978 Batasan Pambansa elections where Ninoy led the Laban slate — something happened.

Metro Manila spoke as one in the first metropolis-wide noise barrage. It reminded the world that Marcos still ruled as a dictator and against his rigging of the polls.
That 1978 noise barrage multipled a thousand times would become the “welgang bayan” and big nationwide protests in the 1983-1986 period. Multiplied a million times, it would become the EDSA uprising that toppled the dictatorship.
Ninoy represented one of the many threads that made up the patchwork that was the broad united front. His murder emboldened and helped unite Filipinos.

His most famous line is not about himself. It is about the Filipino and a call to sacrifice.
Some would say these are mere interpretations. Okay. Let’s listen to Ninoy himself.

Here are excerpts from the arrival statement he was never able to deliver on Aug. 21, 1983.
Ninoy Aquino: “National reconciliation and unity can be achieved but only with justice, including justice for our Muslim and Ifugao brothers. There can be no deal with a Dictator. No compromise with Dictatorship.”
Ninoy Aquino: “Subversion stems from economic, social and political causes and will not be solved by purely military solutions; it can be curbed not with ever increasing repression but with a more equitable distribution of wealth, more democracy and more freedom.”
Ninoy Aquino: “For the economy to get going once again, the workingman must be given his just and rightful share of his labor, and to the owners and managers must be restored the hope where there is so much uncertainty if not despair.”
Those “terms”, as Ninoy Aquino described in his undelivered prepared remarks could unite the nation even to this day, especially these days of a new dictatorship.
Not sure when it started but a new slogan became popular after Ninoy’s murder: “Hindi ka nag-iisa”.

At first, it was addressed to Ninoy. But it could also be addressed by a Filipino to another Filipino.

We are not alone. We are a nation. Facing a tyranny, it was so profound.
Fast forward to 35 years later, Ninoy is being demonized and the family of kleptocrats behind his murder is back in power — allies of a new murderous regime.
May the memories of Ninoy and other bright anti-dictatorship heroes — senators, Red commanders, youth, workers, peasants, professionals — inspire us as we confront and resist the Duterte-Arroyo-Marcos regime.
Saying "#RememberNinoy" is one thing, but knowing who and what "Ninoy remembered" so much so that he risked his life just to come home could be more important: Freedom and democracy for the Filipino people.
Eternal glory to all heroes and martyrs who served the Filipino people, and made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom and democracy.

Macliing Dulag, Dr. Bobby dela Paz, Edgar Jopson, Dr. Juan Escandor and Ninoy Aquino
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