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Opinion

The murder that boomeranged

AT RANDOM - Fr. Miguel A. Bernad, SJ -
Ninoy Aquino was murdered because he was perceived to be a threat to those in power. Their reasoning was simple: Kill Ninoy and the threat will be eliminated.

So they made elaborate plans. Bring a man to the scene, kill him and put the blame for Ninoy’s murder on him. Perfectly planned. Splendidly executed.

And then they found (doubtless to their horror) that instead of eliminating the threat, the murder of Ninoy actually destroyed them.

What they had not reckoned in their planning was the reaction of the people to the murder. Many murders had been committed before. Nobody had raised a voice in protest. This (they thought) would be just another murder. They learned too late that the people had had enough. The murder of Ninoy was the culminating thing, the proverbial last straw that broke the camel’s back.

The murder of Ninoy was an example of Lord Acton’s famous saying: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Drunk with power they had begun to consider themselves omnipotent. They could do anything. There was nothing beyond their power. The life of another man — of another two men — meant nothing to them. They had power of life and death.

The Greeks had a name for it: hubris. Overweening pride. Arrogant pride. The Greeks believed that, while the gods were often blind and deaf to injustice, there was one thing they would not tolerate, namely arrogance.

Those in power did not foresee that two million people would walk many kilometers at Ninoy’s funeral — all the way from Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City to the far distant burial place. Not all of those people had been admirers of Ninoy Aquino. Many of them might not have voted for him in a regular election. But his murder was something they could not stomach. Defying the power of the Dictator, defying the hot sun and the long road, they marched to the cemetery to protest the murder of an innocent man.

A well-known American personage had described the Philippines during martial law as "a nation of eighty million cowards and one Son of a B." Our lethargy may seem cowardice to foreigners. But lethargy has its limit. That arrogant murder was the limit, and the people asserted their true selves.

I submit that "Ninoy Aquino Day" is not a celebration in honor of Ninoy Aquino. It is a celebration of the outrage of a nation at the arrogance of dictatorship. "Ninoy Aquino Day" honors not only Ninoy but also the Filipino people.

vuukle comment

KILL NINOY

LORD ACTON

MURDER

NINOY

NINOY AQUINO

NINOY AQUINO DAY

PEOPLE

POWER

QUEZON CITY

SANTO DOMINGO CHURCH

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