5 Ninoy Aquino allies to get awardsBy Cynthia D. Balana
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Five colleagues of the late former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. will be awarded the first Ninoy Aquino Movement (NAM) Medal of Valor to commemorate his 29th death anniversary Tuesday.
The awardees are Steve Psinakis, Danny Lamila, Victor Lovely, Doris Nuval-Baffrey and the San Francisco-based Philippine News then published by Alex Esclamado.
NAM founding chairman and former Sen. Heherson Alvarez said that NAM was honoring these “patriots who labored with the movement to help restore democracy back to the country.”
The celebration will be held Tuesday on the tarmac of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, where the father of President Benigno Aquino was shot dead on Aug. 21, 1983.
A requiem Mass remembering the late senator will also honor a roster of “patriot-members” who have passed away.
They include Raul Manglapus, Gerardo “Gerry” Esguerra, Francisco “Soc” Rodrigo, Bonifacio Gillego, Salvador “Doy” Laurel, Ramon “Monching” Mitra, Jose “Pepe” Calderon, Rashid Lucman, Fr. Toti Olaguer, Alejandro ‘’Chino” Roces, Eddie Monteclaro, Manoling Maravilla, Fortunato Roxas, Geny Lopez, Art Taca, Steve Agular, Esther Paredes, Otto Jimenez, Ric Manapat, Renato “Nats” Tañada, Annie Tañada, Jesus Cellano, Rafael Baskinas, Ciriaco Sabilano and Cecilia Muñoz-Palma.
“Ninoy’s martyrdom, like Rizal’s, is a historic high point of Filipino patriotism which the living witnesses of that period must share with the nation for all times, especially the younger generation of Filipinos who will continue to keep alive the legacy of democracy and freedom,” Alvarez said.
Psinakis, one of the Medal of Valor awardees, is a Greek citizen married to a Filipino, Precy Lopez-Psinakis. Organizers cited his commitment in the struggle to restore democracy in his adopted country.
Lovely had been maimed in a bomb explosion when he was brought to the United States to testify before a grand jury against the anti-Marcos opposition leadership. Lovely refused to testify against the group and instead denounced the Marcos dictatorship for its brutality.
Lamila, a supporter of NAM, was a participant in the “Light-a-Fire Movement,” which carried out bomb attacks against the dictatorship.
Baffrey, imprisoned by the Marcos regime after she came home to the Philippines from the United States, was described by event organizers as a symbol of resistance against persecution.
Esclamado was the publisher of the Philippine News, a US-based Filipino newspaper that became the vehicle of anti-Marcos groups disseminating information on the abuses and corruption of the dictatorship.
The NAM has spearheaded the annual celebration of Aquino’s martyrdom since 1987. The first celebration was presided over by the late President Corazon Aquino and attended by Coretta Scott King, widow of US civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
Tuesday’s celebration starts at 9 a.m.
A special feature of the celebration is a joint performance of a delegation from the Seoul Institute of the Arts headed by Duk Hyung-yoo and the Earthsavers Unesco Dream Center directed by Cecile Guidote-Alvarez.