August 21, 1983
The world will never know who the persons were that gave the "official" order to kill Ninoy Aquino for those persons are either already dead, close to death, silent in fear of death, or they choose to remain silent until death.Marcos wanted Aquino killed.
But he didn’t give the order to do so at the airport.
(Waltzing With A Dictator, Raymond Bonner, p. 351-52).
"It's Pulverize Ninoy!"
**The source is Katherine Ellison, Imelda: Steel Butterfly of the Philippines.
On the Google Books preview, the pertinent paragraphs are
on page 88."What would we have gained? Nothing!"
"The Marcoses, Ferdinand and Imelda were the ultimate victims of the Aquino Assassination" Imelda
"You fools, they will all blame me." Marcos
On page 386 of the book "The Marcos Dynasty" by Sterling Seagrave:
"Immediately after the murder, Aspiras and Cendana were said to have driven straight to the Via Mare seafood restaurant by the CCP to inform Imelda. Joined by Fabian Ver, Eduardo Cojuangco, and others, they all proceeded to the room where Ferdinand Marcos was recuperating from his surgery. According to one of these present, when he was told what had been done, Ferdinand exploded in anger, seized a small dish from the bedside table, and threw it at Ver, saying: "You fools, they will all blame me."There is evidence, which Ver would have been aware of, that Marcos wanted Aquino killed.
“Was Ver acting under the direct orders from Marcos? Or was the general carrying out what he thought his commander in chief wanted? Was Marcos Henry II wanting to be rid of this ‘turbulent priest’ with Aquino his St. Thomas a Becket? There is evidence, which Ver would have been aware of, that Marcos wanted Aquino killed. In all that has been written about the Aquino assassination, one secret remained. In July, after Aquino had made several statements in the United States that he would return soon, Marcos asked some of his trusted research assistants to compile what they could about political assassinations. He was most interested in knowing more about the killing of Archbishop Romero, the Salvadoran prelate who was an outspoken critic of human rights abuses and was assassinated with a single shot while saying mass in March 1980.”
“In addition, and also not publicly discussed, U.S. intelligence officials discovered that Marcos sent agents to the United States to “shadow Aquino.” One man with that mission was Colonel Rolando Abadilla, who had a notorious reputation as a torturer. In July 1983, Abadilla, described by a U.S. diplomat as a high-ranking hit man,” was in the United States, ostensibly to watch his son participate in a soapbox derby. Some U.S. officials believe that he had instructions to assassinate Aquino if the opportunity arose.”
“Abadilla’s mission and other evidence lead one diplomat, who was in a senior position in the embassy at the time of the assassination, to conclude, ‘It was Marcos. He wanted to get rid of him [Aquino]. In effect, there was a standing order to shoot on sight. The order had gone out to take care of Aquino. It wasn’t an order to kill him at the airport.” The operative words may well be the last three. Marcos wanted Aquino killed. But he didn’t give the order to do so at the airport” (Waltzing With A Dictator, Raymond Bonner, p. 351-52).
1. Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. went by an alias, "Marcial Bonifacio", on his flight home. Wanting to return to the Philippines after his heart operation in the United States, his petition for passport renewal was denied. So, he flew to Singapore and applied for a tourist visa at the Chinese Embassy under that pseudonym.
2. The military created OPLAN BALIKBAYAN supposedly to secure Aquino upon his arrival at the Manila International Airport. More than a thousand military officers and men were involved in the scheme, which would see him escorted from MIA to Fort Bonifacio, where he would be detained. Three phases were involved in the plan: first, the plane would be secured upon landing; second, security at the International Passenger Terminal would be tightened; and third, the welcoming crowd would be contained.
3. Aquino was shot below his left ear, with the bullet exiting through his lower jaw. The characteristics of the wound of entrance indicated that the person who shot him fired at close range.
4. After he was shot, Aquino was thrust "as though he were a sack of rice" into a SWAT van waiting on the tarmac so he could be brought to the hospital. It was probably here that he was struck on the top of the head "with a blunt instrument, possibly the butt of a gun," therefore fracturing his skull. The Sandiganbayan concluded that this was done to make sure he would not survive.
5. Aquino died of "brain laceration and intracranial hemorrhage", according to the autopsy performed less than 10 hours after the incident by Dr. Bienvenido Munoz of the National Bureau of Investigation. Munoz would initially say that the bullet was directed "forward, downward, and medially," but would later do a 180-degree turn upon being cross-examined by the defense at the retrial of the murder, and say that the bullet was actually directed "upward, downward, and medially." The latter statement would seem to support the defense's stand that it was Rolando Galman, standing on the tarmac and pointing upward, who shot Aquino, and not one of Aquino's military escorts as they were descending from the plane.
6. In December 1985, the First Division of the Sandiganbayan, under pressure from the Office of the President, acquitted all 26 accused when it heard the murder case for the first time. The prosecution then petitioned the Supreme Court to review the decision. The court ordered a retrial, saying the first decision was made "with grave and serious infirmities." It was in 1987 when the retrial began.
7. Pelagia Hilario and Lydia Morata, Aquino's co-passengers who "playfully kissed him" on the plane – and presumably the ones usually shown on video recordings of the events prior to the assassination doing the same – will later say that they saw Aquino walking on the tarmac before he was shot in the back of the head, a testimony in favor of the accused military officers. Two other civilians will attest the same. But the testimony of another passenger, "Crying Lady" Rebecca Quijano, would prove more compelling: she said she saw one of the soldier-escorts shoot Aquino as he descended the bridge stairs.
8. C1C Rogelio Moreno was the man who shot Aquino, according to witnesses, as from their positions they saw the man directly behind the Senator shoot him in the nape. Moreno was among Aquino's military escorts, part of the boarding party tasked to secure Aquino and lead him to a vehicle on the way to Fort Bonifacio, where he was to be detained.
9. The trajectory of the fatal bullet, the inconsistencies in the testimonies of the accused, and the fact that Aquino's escorts fled as soon as he was shot, were some of the evidence that disproved the defense's position that it was Rolando Galman, from the tarmac, who killed Aquino.
10. The final Sandiganbayan ruling on the murder quotes Shakespeare's Julius Ceasar. Describing Aquino's fall as he was shot at the back of the head, the decision uses lines from the play: "O, what a fall was there, my countrymen! Then you, and I, and all of us fell down, Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us."