Van that carried Ninoy’s body up for restoration
Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - August 22, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) hopes to finish by next year the restoration of the Aviation Security Command (Avsecom) van where Ninoy Aquino breathed his last after his assassination at the airport 36 years ago.

In an interview yesterday, NHCP chairman Rene Escalante said the van has been in their custody since December 2017 after it was donated by the owner’s wife, Mary Hazel Atayza-Marasigan.

Escalante said the van would be renovated in time for next year’s commemoration of Aquino’s death.

“I think we can restore it in one year,” he said.

The Avsecom van languished at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City until 1997 when it was bought by Air Force retired Col. Marlon Marasigan.

The van is in a decrepit state on the NHCP grounds.

The restoration will include removing the vandalisms inside the van, words like “Fuck you boy,” and “Pok2x” that do not evoke respect for the events that it witnessed when it carried Aquino’s remains from the airport tarmac to Fort Bonifacio.

The NHCP has alloted a budget of P2 million for the van’s restoration.

The van was originally meant to be displayed at the Presidential Car Museum in Quezon City, but it held a different narrative because Aquino did not become a president, Escalante said.

He said the van would be dispslayed at the soon to be opened Freedom Memorial Museum, which will be housed at the  University of the Philippines Diliman campus across the office of the Commission on Higher Education.

The van will be placed beside a replica of the airplane where Aquino alighted, to give museum visitors the feel of his assassination three decades ago, Escalante said.

“It will not be in running condition, only for display,” he said.

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