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The Day Ninoy Aquino Was Assassinated
« on: August 04, 2018, 10:18:26 PM »
Posted on FB by Teddy Montelibano

The late lamented Chitang Guerrero Nakpil, an insider in the Malacañang of the Marcoses, having been in the inner circle of former First Lady Imelda Marcos, was Director General of Technology Resource Center (TRC), a government corporation under Mrs. Marcos's Ministry of Human Settlements when Ninoy Aquino was assassinated in 1983. 

Below, Mrs. Nakpil's riveting first-hand account of how the Marcoses took the assassination of Ninoy Aquino, from her autobiographical trilogy:

“We had ordered shark’s fin soup and it was just being ladled into our bowls, when a phone rang in the distance. An aide scurried and brought the phone to Mrs. Marcos. She rose to take the call privately, and we continued to attend to the scrumptious soup before us.

When she came back to our table, she spoke quickly and tersely, “We’ll have to leave for Malacañang right away. That was General Ver.” J.V. (Cruz) protested, “But the soup! We haven’t even begun!”

Mrs. Marcos had already turned her back and was walking to her car at the entrance. We were asked to pile in and we drove to Malacañang at a high speed.

Marita Manuel of the Metro Manila Commission, Veronica Veloso Yap and Zenaida Seva of the Times Journal, perhaps sensing a story about the censors’ board or Ninoy’s expected arrival, had earlier turned up at the Gloria Maris, and were sitting at a nearby table.

They followed in the other Malacañang vehicles. The air was heavy with dark premonitions. What had happened? No one said a word. Zenaida, who’s a psychic, afterwards said that the hair on the back of her head stood on end all the way to Malacañang.

At the reception hall, we sat at a long table that had been set up there. Mrs. Marcos excused herself, and came back wearing a hostess gown, saying she had to go and talk to the President in the Guest House.

We knew he was receiving medical treatment for his kidneys in the impromptu hospital that had been set up there. The rumor was that he had undergone a transplant.

After a short while, Mrs. Marcos came back. Her color had changed. Her face was so pale and sallow that the rouge in her cheeks stood out in clownish blotches. “Ninoy has been shot dead at the airport!” she said in a vehement whisper.

I had stood up and felt my knees buckle. Mother of Mercy! Marita jumped up screaming, “My God! My God!” Everyone else was stricken into silence. It felt as if a bomb had exploded in our midst.

People moved around like somnambulists. Some of them rushed up from the grand staircase and were milling around the table, aimlessly running to and from the Music Room, the President’s Office, the Cabinet Room, opening and slamming doors in a frenzy of meaningless activity, round-eyed, sweaty, mute, stumbling into one another, guardedly touching friends’ shoulders with their hands, like mutes at a wake.

I remember the arrival of Danding Cojuangco, of Blas Ople and Adrian Cristobal, in rumpled jackets; generals and other army officers; media cameramen, cabinet members, Palace intimates.

Everybody was strangely inarticulate, made meaningless remarks, “I just drove down from Baguio,” “I just heard,” essaying smiles that turned into grimaces, asking questions from one another with their eyes, not daring to frame conjectures or elicit information.

Everybody was waiting to be told something we desperately needed to know: what had happened? And, what next?

Only J.V. was doing something constructive. He had snatched a page from Marita’s notebook and was calmly, deliberately scribbling, non-stop, one line after another, with no erasures, a simple presidential statement, using neutral words like “assailant” and not “assassin,” “attacked” and not “shot,” a calm statement of facts, assuring swift action and retribution, expressing sorrow, urging calm.

Marcos later released the statement exactly as J.V. wrote it, without changing a word.

Sometime during that macabre night, Jolly Riofrir, a cameraman friend of mine who worked under the Information Minister Greg Cendana, approached me, “I saw the shooting,” he said, “I think I have it on film.”

Thinking fast, I asked, “Do you have it, the film?” He was trembling, “It’s been taken away from me.”

The next time I heard from Riofrir was years later, after Marcos had fallen and Jolly was in San Francisco. He called several times, at long intervals, and it was always to ask me to find someone who would buy and publish the original photos he took on 21 August 1983 at the airport. I never found anyone. Maybe nobody wanted that film, or what was in it.

It was close to dawn when Maria and I decided to leave, found her car on the Malacañang grounds and went home.

We had not spoken to one another since we had left the restaurant at noon. We were usually loquacious, tripping over things to discuss and exchange, refute or make fun of. Now we lacked for words. What was there to say?

I recollect telling her at last, “Maria, this is the end.” I knew she agreed, but couldn’t even bring herself to say so. Poor Ninoy, I thought. He has had the last word, after all."

https://jcc34.wordpress.com/2015/08/28/carmen-guerrero-nakpil-on-the-death-of-ninoy-aquino/

(Part 2, to be posted at a later time, will be on how the Marcoses reacted after watching on television Ninoy Aquino's funeral, with a sea of humanity lining the streets to bid the fallen hero farewell, and joining the funeral march, which began at 9 am from Sto Domingo Church, reaching Manila Memorial Park 12 hours later.)

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