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Undelivered speech of Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr.

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Undelivered speech of Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr.

/ 09:46 AM August 21, 2014
Former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

Former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. looks pensive shortly after being sentenced to death by musketry by a military tribunal in 1977 (left), and on his flight home from the United States on Aug. 21, 1983 (right), moments before being shot dead (center) on the tarmac of the then Manila International Airport. Inquirer Photos

(Upon his return from the United States of America on Aug. 21, 1983)

I have returned on my free will to join the ranks of those struggling to restore our rights and freedoms through nonviolence.

I seek no confrontation. I only pray and will strive for a genuine national reconciliation founded on justice.

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I am prepared for the worst, and have decided against the advice of my mother, my spiritual adviser, many of my tested friends and a few of my most valued political mentors.

A death sentence awaits me. Two more subversion charges, both calling for death penalties, have been filed since I left three years ago and are now pending with the courts.

I could have opted to seek political asylum in America, but I feel it is my duty, as it is the duty of every Filipino, to suffer with his people especially in time of crisis.

I never sought nor have I been given assurances or promise of leniency by the regime. I return voluntarily armed only with a clear conscience and fortified in the faith that in the end justice will emerge triumphant.

According to Gandhi, the willing sacrifice of the innocent is the most powerful answer to insolent tyranny that has yet been conceived by God and man.

Three years ago when I left for an emergency heart bypass operation, I hoped and prayed that the rights and freedoms of our people would soon be restored, that living conditions would improve and that blood-letting would stop.

Rather than move forward, we have moved backward. The killings have increased, the economy has taken a turn for the worse and the human rights situation has deteriorated.

During the martial law period, the Supreme Court heard petitions for Habeas Corpus. It is most ironic, after martial law has allegedly been lifted, that the Supreme Court last April ruled it can no longer entertain petitions for Habeas Corpus for persons detained under a Presidential Commitment Order, which covers all so-called national security cases and which under present circumstances can cover almost anything.

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The country is far advanced in her times of trouble. Economic, social and political problems bedevil the Filipino. These problems may be surmounted if we are united. But we can be united only if all the rights and freedoms enjoyed before September 21, 1972 are fully restored.

The Filipino asks for nothing more, but will surely accept nothing less, than all the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the 1935 Constitution—the most sacred legacies from the Founding Fathers.

Yes, the Filipino is patient, but there is a limit to his patience. Must we wait until that patience snaps?

The nation-wide rebellion is escalating and threatens to explode into a bloody revolution. There is a growing cadre of young Filipinos who have finally come to realize that freedom is never granted, it is taken. Must we relive the agonies and the blood-letting of the past that brought forth our Republic or can we sit down as brothers and sisters and discuss our differences with reason and goodwill?

I have often wondered how many disputes could have been settled easily had the disputants only dared to define their terms.

So as to leave no room for misunderstanding, I shall define my terms:

1. Six years ago, I was sentenced to die before a firing squad by a Military Tribunal whose jurisdiction I steadfastly refused to recognize. It is now time for the regime to decide. Order my IMMEDIATE EXECUTION OR SET ME FREE.

I was sentenced to die for allegedly being the leading communist leader. I am not a communist, never was and never will be.

2. 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.

3. In a revolution there can really be no victors, only victims. We do not have to destroy in order to build.

4. 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, and

5. 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.

On one of the long corridors of Harvard University are carved in granite the words of Archibald Macleish:

“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms; by truth when it is attacked by lies; by democratic faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, and in the final act, by determination and faith.”

I return from exile and to an uncertain future with only determination and faith to offer—faith in our people and faith in God.

Talumpating hindi nabigkas ni Senador Benigno S. Aquino Jr.:
(Noong siya ay bumalik mula sa Amerika )

[Ika-21 ng Agosto 1983]

Kusa akong nagbalik upang makisama sa mga hanay ng mga nakikipaglaban para sa pagbabalik ng ating mga karapatan at kalayaan sa mapayapang pamamaraan.

Hindi ko hangad ang sagupaan. Idinadalangin ko’t aking sisikaping magkaroon ng tunay na pambansang

pagkakasundo batay sa katarungan.

Handa ako sa ano mang masamang maaaring mangyari. Nagpasya ako labag sa payo ng aking ina, ng aking tagpayong espirituwal, ng aking mga kaibigan, at ng ilang tagapayo sa politika. May naghihintay sa aking hatol na kamatayan, dalawang kasong subversion na ang pawang hiling ay ang aking kamatayan na hanggang ngayon ay nakabinbin pa rin sa mga korte.

Maaari sanang ako’y humingi ng political asylum sa Amerika ngunit nadarama kong tungkulin ko na siya ring tungkulin ng bawat Pilipino na makiramay sa kanyang mga kababayan lalo na sa panahon ng krisis.

Kusa akong nagbalik na ang tanging sandata ay ang aking malinis na konsensiya at nagkukuta sa pananalig na sa dakong huli’y ang katarunga’y gigitaw nang buong tagumpay.

Nang ako ay umalis upang ipailalim sa bypass operation sa puso, ako’y umasa at nanalanging sana’y ibalik ang mga kalayaan at karapatan ng ating mga kababayan na ang pamumuhay ay umunlad at ang pagdanak ng dugo ay matigil. Ngunit sa halip na tayo’y sumulong tayo’y dumausdos nang paurong. Dumami ang pagpatay, ang ekonomiya ang lalong sumama at lumubha ang karapatang pantao. Ang malalang kalagayan ng bansa ay ating malulunasan kung tayo’y nagkakaisa. Ngunit tayo’y magkakaisa lamang kung maibabalik ang lahat ng karapatan at kalayaang tinatamasa natin bago ang ikadalawampu’t isa ng Setyembre, 1971. Tunay na matiisin ang Pilipino ngunit may hangganan ang kanyang pagtitimpi. Hihintayin pa ba nating maubos ang pagtitimping ito?

Ang laganap na paghihimagsik ay lumalala at nagbabantang sumabog sa isang madugong rebolusyon. Dumarami ang mga kadre ng kabataang Pilipino na sa ngayo’y naniniwalang ang kalayaan ay hindi ibinibigay kundi kailangan ito’y agawin. Kailangan pa bang tayo’y magbuhos ng dugo tulad noong nakaraan na naging kabayaran ang ating Republika o maaari ba tayong umupo at mag-usap bilang magkakapatid upang ayusin ang ating hindi pagkakasunduan sa tulong ng katwiran at magandang kalooban.

Madalas kong isipin, alin kayang mga sigalot ang naisasaayos sana nang mahusay kung ang mga

nagtutunggali ay naglalahad lamang ng kanilang malinaw na mga kagustuhan. Kaya upang di mabigyang puwang ang di pagkakaunawaan,

aking ilalahad ang aking mga hangad na mangyari. Una, iniutos ang pagbitay sa akin noong ako’y palayain kaagad. Ako’y hinatulang mamatay sapagkat ako raw ay isang puno ng mga

komunista. Hindi ako isang Komunista, hindi ako kailanman naging komunista at kailanman ay hindi ako magiging komunista.

Ikalawa, ang pamabansang pagkakasundo’t pagkakaisa ay makakamit ngunit sa tulong lamang ng katarungan.

Kasama na ang katarungan para sa ating mga kapatid na Muslim at Ifugao. Walang pakikitungo sa isang diktador, walang pakikipagsundo sa diktadurya.

Ikatlo, sa isang rebolusyon ay walang nagtatagumpay. Mayroon lamang mga biktima, hindi natin kailangan magwasak upang makatayo tayong muli.

Ikaapat, ang paglaban sa pamahalaan o subversion ay nag-uugat sa mga dahilang pang-ekonomiko, pangkabuhayan at pampolitika at hindi ito malulunasan ng mga hakbang militar. Ito’y masasagkaan hindi ng higit na paghihigpit kundi ng higit na patas na pamamahagi ng kabuhayan. Higit na demokrasya at higit na kalayaan.

Ikalima, upang mapaunlad ang ekonomiya, ang mga manggagawa ay dapat na pagkalooban ng kanilang makatarungan at tamang bahagi ng kanilang pinagpaguran sa pasilyo sa Harvard University ay nakaukit sa marmol ang mga salita ng makatang si Archibald Macleish, ang sabi ni  Macleish, “Paano ipagtatanggol ang kalayaan sa tulong ng sandata kapag ito’y sinasalakay ng sandata, sa tulong ng katotohanan kapag ito ay nilalapastangan ng kasinungalingan, ng tiwala sa demokrasya kung ito ay binabayo ng prinsipyong mapaniil, lagi at hanggang sa huli, sa tulong ng matatag na paninindigan.”

Ako’y magbabalik mula sa pagkatapon sa ibang bansa at sa walang katiyakang bukas taglay lamang ang tanging tibay ng loob at pananalig sa Pilipino at pananalig sa lumikha.

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TAGS: benigno `ninoy’ Aquino jr., Ninoy Aquino, Ninoy Aquino assassination, Politics
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