21 August 2009
Today, Filipinos around the world remember that terrible day, August 21, 1983, when the world seemed to shatter and all hope seemed to vanish into thin air for a nation under the grips of military rule. That day, they gunned down the man in white who had come back from Boston, abandoning his family and a life of relative comfort and ease, in a desperate attempt to prevent a downward spiral of the Philippines into the maelstrom of political chaos.
The rest is now history.
Instead of stifling dissent, the treacherous murder of Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. unleashed a firestorm of protests that would culminate three years later in the ascension to the Philippine presidency of Ninoy's diffident but iron-willed widow, Cory, in a massive, prayer-backed people power revolt that would kick then President Ferdinand Marcos out of Malacañang and into ignominious exile in Hawaii.
It was the most unlikely of outcomes in the most unlikely of scenarios. And yet it happened! The miracle of EDSA was an event unprecedented in the annals of world history, perhaps the truest example of the oft-repeated, much-abused phrase vox populi, vox Dei (the voice of the people is the voice of God).
GMA News helps us remember properly this pivotal day in our history by showing us Ninoy's detention cells in Fort Bonifacio and in Fort Magsaysay in Laur, Nueva Ecija as well as giving us excerpts from one of Ninoy's memorable speeches.
The remarkable recording below is posted in youtube. It is the last recorded telephone conversation involving Ninoy prior to his return to the Philippines. The person on the other line is Steve Psinakis of the Movement for a Free Philippines. Some of Ninoy's words in this conversation have turned prophetic.