MANILA, Philippines — Former president Corazon Aquino and her son, Senator Benigno Aquino III, on Tuesday rejected proposals to grant clemency to the 14 former soldiers convicted for the murder of former senator Benigno ‘Ninoy” Aquino Jr.
In separate interviews at the Senate session hall, Mrs. Aquino repeated what she has been saying all these years: that the convicted soldiers must come out with the truth about her husband’s death and that, if it were up to her, she does not want clemency for the convicted members of the Aviation Security Command (Avsecom).
“No truth, no clemency, no closure,” she told reporters.
She was in the session hall for the privileged speech of her son on her husband’s death anniversary. “Gusto ko talagang marinig sa mga sundalo na humingi sila ng tawad [I really want to hear the soldiers ask forgiveness],” she said.
Aquino’s assassination at then Manila International Airport — since named after him — 24 years ago, as he was taken by the convicted soldiers from the plane that had brought him back from exile sparked the protest movement that would eventually topple the Marcos dictatorship and install his widow as president in February 1986.
The former president said she wants the truth not only for herself and her children, but all the Filipino people.
“There can only be reconciliation if there is justice,” she stressed.
Senator Aquino agreed with his mother and gave a similar opinion: “No admission of guilt, no sorry, no clemency.”
“My basic premise here is there’s a failure of law here, because where’s the big fish?” he said.