BENIGNO SIMEON "NINOY" AQUINO JR. (November 27, 1932 – August
21, 1983) was the husband of former Philippine President Corazon
Aquino and father of former Philippine President
Benigno Aquino III .
Aquino, together with Gerry Roxas and
Jovito Salonga , formed the
leadership of the opposition towards
* 1 Early life * 2 Political career * 3 Early martial law years * 4 1978 elections, bypass surgery, exile * 5 Planning return * 6 Assassination * 7 Funeral * 8 Legacy
* 9 Personal life
* 9.1 Ancestry
* 10 References * 11 External links
Benigno Simeón Aquino Jr. was born in Concepcion, Tarlac , on November 27, 1932, to Benigno Servillano Quiambao Aquino Sr. and half-cousin , Aurora Lampa Aquino, (from half-uncle Agapito de los Santos Aquino) a prosperous family of hacenderos , the original owners of Hacienda Maling, Hacienda Sawang and Hacienda Murcia.
He received his elementary education at De La Salle College and
finished at Saint Joseph\'s College of
He became mayor of Concepcion in 1955 at the age of 22.
Aquino gained an early familiarity with Philippine politics, as he
was born into one of the Philippines' political and landholding clans.
His grandfather served under President Aguinaldo, and his father held
office under Presidents
In 1968, during his first year as senator, Aquino alleged that Marcos was on the road to establishing "a garrison state" by "ballooning the armed forces budget," saddling the defense establishment with "overstaying generals" and "militarizing our civilian government offices."
Aquino became known as a constant critic of the Marcos regime, as his
flamboyant rhetoric had made him a darling of the media. His most
polemical speech, "A Pantheon for Imelda", was delivered on February
10, 1969. He assailed the Cultural Center, the first project of First
EARLY MARTIAL LAW YEARS
It was not until the Plaza Miranda bombing however on August 21, 1971 that the pattern of direct confrontation between Marcos and Aquino emerged. At 9:15 pm, at the kick-off rally of the Liberal Party, the candidates had formed a line on a makeshift platform and were raising their hands as the crowd applauded. The band played, a fireworks display drew all eyes, when suddenly there were two loud explosions that obviously were not part of the show. In an instant the stage became a scene of wild carnage. The police later discovered two fragmentation grenades that had been thrown at the stage by "unknown persons". Eight people died, and 120 others were wounded, many critically. As Aquino was the only Liberal Party senatorial candidate not present at the incident, many assumed that Aquino's NPA friends tipped him off in advance. Years later, the Communists confessed to the crime
President Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972 through proclamation 1081 and he went on air to broadcast his declaration on midnight of September 23. Aquino was one of the first to be arrested and imprisoned on trumped-up charges of murder, illegal possession of firearms and subversion. He was tried before Military Commission No. 2 headed by Major-General Jose Syjuco.
On April 4, 1975, Aquino announced that he was going on a hunger
strike, a fast to the death to protest the injustices of his military
trial. Ten days through his hunger strike, he instructed his lawyers
to withdraw all motions he had submitted to the Supreme Court. As
weeks went by, he subsisted solely on salt tablets, sodium
bicarbonate, amino acids, and two glasses of water a day. Even as he
grew weaker, suffering from chills and cramps, soldiers forcibly
dragged him to the military tribunal's session. His family and
hundreds of friends and supporters heard Mass nightly at the Santuario
de San Jose in
Greenhills, San Juan , praying for his survival. Near
the end, Aquino's weight had dropped from 54 to 36 kilos. Aquino
nonetheless was able to walk throughout his ordeal. On May 13, 1975,
on the 40th day, his family and several priests and friends, begged
him to end his fast, pointing out that even Christ fasted only for 40
days. He acquiesced, confident that he had made a symbolic gesture.
But he remained in prison, and the trial continued, drawn out for
several years. On November 25, 1977, the Military Commission charged
Aquino along with NPA leaders
1978 ELECTIONS, BYPASS SURGERY, EXILE
In 1978, from his prison cell, Aquino was allowed run in the Philippine parliamentary election, 1978 . As Ninoy's liberal party colleagues were boycotting the election, he formed the party Lakas ng Bayan . The party had 21 candidates for the Metro Manila area, including Ninoy himself and Alex Boncayao (who was associated with Filipino communist death squad Alex Boncayao Brigade that killed U.S. army captain James N. Rowe ). All of the party's candidates, including Ninoy, lost in the election.
In mid-March 1980, Aquino suffered a heart attack, mostly in a solitary cell. He was transported to the Philippine Heart Center , where he suffered a second heart attack. ECG and other tests showed that he had a blocked artery. Philippine surgeons were reluctant to do a coronary bypass , because it could involve them in a controversy. In addition, Aquino refused to submit himself to Philippine doctors, fearing possible Marcos "duplicity"; he preferred to go to the United States for the procedure or return to his cell at Fort Bonifacio and die.
His request was granted and Ninoy was allowed to go to the US for surgery, together with his entire family. This was arranged after a secret hospital visit by Imelda Marcos. This "emergency leave" was set when Ninoy supposedly agreed to the First Lady's 2 conditions: that if he leaves, he will return; and while in America, he should not speak out against the Marcos regime. Ninoy was operated in Dallas, Texas and made a quick recovery. After which, he decided to renounce the agreement saying, "a pact with the devil is no pact at all". Aquino in 1981
He, Cory and their children started a new life in Massachusetts. He continued to work on two books and gave a series of lectures while on fellowship grants from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His travels across the US had become opportunities for him to deliver speeches critical of the Marcos government. Throughout his years of expatriation, Aquino was always aware that his life in the U.S. was temporary. He never stopped affirming his eventual return even as he enjoyed American hospitality and a peaceful life with his family on American soil. After spending 7 years and 7 months in prison, Aquino's finances were in ruins. Making up for the lost time as the family's breadwinner, he toured America; attending symposiums, lectures, and giving speeches in freedom rallies opposing the Marcos dictatorship. The most memorable was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles, California on February 15, 1981.
In the first quarter of 1983, Aquino received news about the deteriorating political situation in his country and the rumored declining health of President Marcos (due to lupus ). He believed that it was expedient for him to speak to Marcos and present to him his rationale for the country's return to democracy, before extremists took over and made such a change impossible. Moreover, his years of absence made his allies worry that the Filipinos might have resigned themselves to Marcos' strongman rule and that without his leadership the centrist opposition would die a natural death.
Aquino decided to go back to the Philippines, fully aware of the
dangers that awaited him. Warned that he would either be imprisoned or
killed, Aquino answered, "if it's my fate to die by an assassin's
bullet, so be it. But I cannot be petrified by inaction, or fear of
assassination, and therefore stay in the side..." His family,
however, learned from a Philippine Consular official that there were
orders from Ministry of Foreign Affairs not to issue any passports for
them. At that time, their passports had expired and their renewal had
been denied. They therefore formulated a plan for Aquino to fly alone
(to attract less attention), with the rest of the family to follow him
after two weeks. Despite the government's ban on issuing him a
passport, Aquino acquired one with the help of
Rashid Lucman , a
He then left for Hong Kong and on to
Marcos wanted Aquino to stay out of politics, however Aquino asserted
his willingness to suffer the consequences declaring, "the Filipino is
worth dying for." He wished to express an earnest plea for Marcos to
step down, for a peaceful regime change and a return to democratic
institutions. Anticipating the worst, at an interview in his suite at
In his last formal statement that he was not able to deliver, he said, "I have returned on my free will to join the ranks of those struggling to restore our rights and freedoms through non-violence. I seek no confrontation."
A moving screen shot of Aquino as he was being escorted out of the plane by military personnel, less than a minute before being killed. Main article: Assassination of Benigno Aquino Jr.
Aquino was assassinated on August 21, 1983, when he was shot in the head after returning to the country. At the time, bodyguards were assigned to him by the Marcos government. A subsequent investigation produced controversy but with no definitive results. After Marcos' government was overthrown, another investigation found sixteen defendants guilty. They were all sentenced to life in prison. Some were released over the years, the last ones in March 2009.
Another man present at the airport tarmac, Rolando Galman, was shot dead shortly after Aquino was killed. The Marcos government claimed Galman was the trigger man in Aquino's assassination.
After the assassination, the opposition ran for the Regular Batasang
Pambansa under the
United Nationalist Democratic Organization (UNIDO)
and the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-
Lakas ng Bayan
Aquino's body lay in state in a coffin. No effort was made to
disguise a bullet wound that had disfigured his face. In an interview
with Aquino's mother, Aurora, she told the funeral parlor not to apply
makeup nor embalm her son, to see "what they did to my son". Thousands
of supporters flocked to see the bloodied body of Aquino, which took
place at the Aquino household in Times Street, West Triangle, Quezon
City , for nine days. Aquino's wife,
Corazon Aquino , and children
Ballsy, Pinky, Viel, Noynoy and Kris arrived the day after the
assassination. Aquino's funeral procession on August 31 lasted from 9
a.m., when his funeral mass was held at
Santo Domingo Church in Santa
Mesa Heights ,
Jovito Salonga , then head of the Liberal Party , referred to Aquino as "the greatest president we never had", adding:
Ninoy was getting impatient in Boston, he felt isolated by the flow of events in the Philippines. In early 1983, Marcos was seriously ailing, the Philippine economy was just as rapidly declining, and insurgency was becoming a serious problem. Ninoy thought that by coming home he might be able to persuade Marcos to restore democracy and somehow revitalize the Liberal Party.
Because of the demands and threats of the Aquino oligarchs, the
Although Aquino was recognized as the most prominent and most dynamic
complainer of his generation, in the years prior to martial law he was
regarded by many as being a representative of the entrenched familial
elite which to this day dominates Philippine politics. While
atypically telegenic and uncommonly articulate, he had his share of
detractors and was not known to be immune to ambitions and excesses of
the ruling political class. However, during his seven years and seven
months imprisoned as a deranged criminal, Aquino read the book Born
Again by convicted
As a result, the remainder of his personal and political life had a
distinct spiritual sheen. He emerged as a contemporary counterpart of
On October 11, 1954, he married Corazon "Cory" Sumulong Cojuangco , with whom he had five children:
* Maria Elena (Ballsy, born August 18, 1955), married to Eldon Cruz,
with sons Justin Benigno (Jiggy) and Eldon Jr. (Jonty)
* Aurora Corazon (Pinky, born December 27, 1957), married to Manuel
Abellada, with son Miguel and daughter Nina
* Benigno Simeon III (Noynoy, born February 8, 1960), the 15th
President of the
In a June 1981 interview with Pat Robertson on The 700 Club , Aquino said he was raised Catholic . According to him, his religious awakening began after reading Evangelical Christian author Charles Colson 's 1976 book Born Again, during his solitary confinement under the Marcos regime.
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ANCESTORS OF BENIGNO AQUINO JR.
16. Hilario Aquino
8. Braulio Aquino
17. Isabela Lacsamana
18. Dionisio Aguilar
9. Petrona Aguilar
19. Juana Petrona Henson
10. Pablo Quiambao
5. Guadalupe Quiambao
22. Vicente Tañedo
11. Lorenza Tañedo
23. Fausta García
1. Benigno Aquino Jr.
12. Milencio Aquino
6. Agapito Aquino
13. Evarista de los Santos
3. Aurora Aquino
28. Juan Lampa
14. Lorenzo Lampa
29. Teodora Lenun
7. Gerarda Lampa
15. Gertrudes Miranda
* ^ Original Term until December 30, 1973 cut short pursuant to the
Declaration of Martial Law on September 23, 1972.
* ^ Leonard, Thomas M. (2006). Encyclopedia of the developing
world, Volume 1.
* ^ Lentz, Harris M. (1988). Assassinations and executions: an
encyclopedia of political violence, 1865–1986.
* ^ "Benigno Simeon Aquino Jr.".