Assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr.

1983 murder of Filipino senator and opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr.
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August 21, 1983
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5/13/2010
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The assassination of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., a former Philippine senator, took place on Sunday, August 21, 1983 at the Manila International Airport (now named Ninoy Aquino International Airport in his honor). A longtime political opponent of President Ferdinand Marcos, he had just landed in his home country after three years of self-imposed exile in the United States when he was shot in the head while being escorted from an aircraft to a vehicle that was waiting to transport him to prison. Also killed was Rolando Galman, who was later implicated in Aquino's murder. Aquino was elected to the Philippine Senate in 1967 and shortly thereafter began speaking out against Marcos's authoritarian rule. He was imprisoned on trumped up charges shortly after Marcos's 1972 declaration of martial law. In 1980, he suffered a heart attack in prison and was allowed to leave the country two months later by Marcos's wife, Imelda. He spent the next three years in exile near Boston before deciding to return to the Philippines. Aquino's assassination is credited with transforming the opposition to the Marcos regime from a small, isolated movement into a national crusade. It is also credited with thrusting Aquino's widow, Corazon Aquino, into the public spotlight and her running for president in the 1986 snap election. Although Marcos was officially declared the winner of the election, widespread allegations of fraud and illegal tampering on Marcos's behalf are credited with sparking the People Power Revolution, which resulted in Marcos fleeing the country and conceding the presidency to Mrs. Aquino. Although many, including the Aquino family, maintain that Marcos ordered Aquino's assassination, this was never definitively proven. An official government investigation ordered by Marcos shortly after the assassination led to murder charges against 25 military personnel and one civilian; all were acquitted by the Sandiganbayan (special court). After Marcos was ousted, another government investigation under President Aquino's administration led to a retrial and the conviction of 16 military personnel, all of whom were sentenced to life imprisonment. Since their conviction, one of the convicts was pardoned, three died in prison, and the remainder had their sentences commuted at various times; the last convicts were released from prison in 2009.
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Rolando Galman
Assasination of Ninoy Aquino
Assassination of Ninoy Aquino
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Pablo Martinez (soldier)
Ninoy Assassination
Assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr.
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