Ninoy supporters ask Pinoys: Defy fake news, deception

Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star
Ninoy supporters ask Pinoys: Defy fake news, deception
Supporters of the late senator Benigno Aquino Jr. offer flowers at his monument along Ayala Avenue in Makati to mark his 40th death anniversary today.
Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — On the eve of the 40th death anniversary of Benigno Aquino Jr., dozens of the senator’s supporters and members of political groups called on Filipinos to defy fake news and widespread deception that they say are perpetrated by the Marcos administration.

They trooped to the Ninoy Aquino Monument on Ayala Avenue in Makati City yesterday to call for the “continued remembrance of our history, and the defense of truth and democracy” especially by the youth.

The event was headlined by the retelling of Aquino’s life and death, led by one of his grandsons, Kiko Dee, son of the late senator’s daughter Viel.

In his speech, Dee differentiated his grandfather from the heroes of lore in the West who swooped down on evil all on their own.

Dee, also deputy executive director of the Ninoy & Cory Aquino Foundation, said his grandfather had the makings of a hero because he was one with the suffering of his people.

“And when we, the citizens, share in the suffering of our nation and we join them in their fight, this can lead to very big things. And that is the lesson of the EDSA People Power Revolution,” Dee said.

Akbayan Party president Rafaela David said, “while we no longer live under martial law, the constant attempts to distort the truth are the gravest threats to democracy in the country.”

“In 1983, they assassinated a brave and selfless man. In 2022, they tried to assassinate history using our own democratic elections. But no bullet can kill the truth. And through our storytelling, and the preservation of collective memory, we will keep the truth alive, and it will have its day,” David said.

“Remembering Ninoy is an act of defiance against fake news and widespread deception. Without memory, all that remains is a hollow democracy,” she added.

David also called on pro-democracy groups to join hands in bolstering efforts to battle fake news and disinformation, including those peddled by the Marcos administration.

According to her, “the best way to honor Ninoy was to not only fact check, but challenge lying narratives that distort perspectives, and prey upon the fears of those at the margins.”

Today, the August Twenty-One Movement will lead a motorcade that will trace the route of Aquino’s funeral march from Baclaran Church to the Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City, where the final mass for Ninoy was held in 1983.

One of Aquino’s daughters, Kris, called on Filipinos to participate in celebrating her father’s life and death, which “inspire(d) a large segment of Filipinos who have remained apathetic to the abuses of Martial Law to finally break their silence and join the cause to break free from the chains of the Marcos dictatorship.”

“Wear yellow. If you can’t wear yellow, wear black or white. And tie yellow ribbons to your vehicles,” Kris said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Aquino insisted on going home despite threats against his life to continue the fight for reforms, but was assassinated on Aug. 21, 1983 at the tarmac of what was then called the Manila International Airport, which was later renamed after the former senator.

Aquino, the face of the political opposition against the Marcos dictatorship, had been in exile in the United States after he was allowed to walk free from detention for challenging the authoritarian regime.

Communist rap fact-checked as false

President Marcos’ poverty alleviation adviser Larry Gadon accused the late opposition leader of being a traitor to the country, as he repeated claims that have been debunked by fact checkers.

In a video posted on Facebook yesterday, Gadon said Ninoy Aquino Day is commemorated so Filipinos could “learn from history.” He went on to compare Aquino to Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus.

“We remember the traitorship of Ninoy, who connived with the communist Joma Sison to sow disorder in our country. Because of that, the country is in disarray, our economy suffered and our public utilities were given to private business. And that is the reason why power and water rates are high,” Gadon said in Filipino.

“Aug. 21 is a reminder that we should not allow ourselves to be fooled again, that we should not be indoctrinated and brainwashed by ‘yellow’ narratives, that we should not believe in the propaganda of the ‘yellows,’” he added, referring to the color associated with Aquino and the Liberal Party.

Various fact-checkers have disputed claims linking Aquino to the communist movement.

In an article published two years ago, Vera Files – a nonstock, nonprofit independent media organization – cited a 2016 interview wherein Sison said Aquino could not have been a communist or the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) because he was an “asset” of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from the time he was a war correspondent in Korea.

Aquino had denied being a CIA agent in a television interview conducted in 1978, Vera Files said.

According to the fact-checker, while Sison recognized that Aquino was “not known to be hostile” to the New People’s Army – the armed wing of the CPP – he said there was “no formal alliance” between them.

Gadon, who was wearing a yellow polo shirt in his Facebook video, also accused Aquino of involvement in the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing and of ruining the Philippines’ claim to Sabah.

According to a #FactsFirstPH article posted on OneNews.PH, claims that Aquino was one of the plotters of the Plaza Miranda bombing, which left nine persons dead and nearly a hundred others wounded, are “merely unfounded rumors and not a historical fact.”

Aquino was never linked to any concrete evidence or definite report or tagged by a witness, the fact-checker added.

The #FactsFirstPH article said Aquino was not present during the bombing of the Liberal Party’s political rally in 1971 outside the Quiapo Church in Manila, but there was no concrete evidence proving that his absence meant he was among those who planned the attack. — Alexis Romero

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with