“We only ask that freedom be returned, we ask for nothing more but we will accept nothing less.”- Ninoy Aquino
President Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972 and he went on air to broadcast his declaration on midnight of September 23. Aquino was one of the first to be arrested and imprisoned on trumped-up charges of murder, illegal possession of firearms and subversion. He was tried before Military Commission No. 2 headed by Major-General Jose Syjuco.
On April 4, 1975, Aquino announced that he was going on a hunger strike, a fast to the death to protest the injustices of his military trial. Ten days through his hunger strike, he instructed his lawyers to withdraw all motions he had submitted to the Supreme Court. As weeks went by, he subsisted solely on salt tablets, sodium bicarbonate, amino acids, and two glasses of water a day.
Even as he grew weaker, suffering from chills and cramps, soldiers forcibly dragged him to the military tribunal’s session. His family and hundreds of friends and supporters heard Mass nightly at the Santuario de San Jose in Greenhills, San Juan, praying for his survival. Near the end, Aquino’s weight had dropped from 54 to 36 kilos.
Aquino nonetheless was able to walk throughout his ordeal. On May 13, 1975, on the 40th day, his family and several priests and friends, begged him to end his fast, pointing out that even Christ fasted only for 40 days. He acquiesced, confident that he had made a symbolic gesture. But he remained in prison, and the trial continued, drawn out for several years. On November 25, 1977, the Commission found Aquino guilty of all charges and sentenced him to death by firing squad.
- [In the news] Bishops urge Aquino to release striking political prisoners- Inquirer.net (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [Statement] “Proclaim liberty to the captives… Set free the Oppressed” – CBCP-NASSA (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [Blogger] Ninoy Aquino is still in Jail by prisonersphilippines.wordpress.com (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [Press Release] Rights Groups to Cory’s son: Release all political prisoners in memory of your mother’s legacy (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [Press Release] Labor group to PNoy: Extend clemency to all PP’s, but please don’t be late next time – Partido ng Manggagawa (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [Press Release] Rights groups stage solidarity fast for political prisoners’ hunger strike (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [Blogger] A Desaparecido to a Political Prisoner by anakngdesaparecidos.wordpress.com (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [Press Release] Labor group hopeful of the release of political prisoners as peace talks make headway – Partido ng Manggagawa (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [In the news] Aquino yet to decide on Marcos burial | Sun.Star (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [Press Release] Rights group dismayed over PNoy’s late clemency on Umbrero – www.tfdp.net (hronlineph.wordpress.com)