His taped last talk with a friend
DID Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. risk his life to liberate the country from a dictatorship or did he mainly see it as a chance to succeed Ferdinand Marcos, well worth the risk of returning to Manila?
His candid conversation on Aug.13, 1983 with his close friend, the late Steve Psinakis — the husband of Presentacion Lopez, the only daughter of the “Don” Eugenio Lopez Sr. — would seem to point to the latter motivation.
In Ninoy’s last interview with foreign correspondents inside the plane in the wee hours of Aug. 21, 1983, he portrays himself as the opposition leader who decided to return to the Philippines, as he put it, “to help the opposition rebuild its grassroots organization” for the 1984 Batasang Pambansa elections. Ninoy says: “I no longer crave for political office. I would like to reiterate: I am not out to overthrow Marcos.”
Aquino responds thus to a reporter’s question on why he was returning to the Philippines: “I don’t think a general should be 10,0000 miles from his troops, even if he’s leading them from prison.” He says: “I have to suffer with my people, I have to lead them because of the responsibility given to me by my people.”(more…)