MANILA, Philippines – August 2013 marks the 30th year since then Sen Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr was assassinated on the tarmac of what was then called the Manila International Airport.
His death triggered a chain reaction of events that led to the historic EDSA People Power of 1986 and consequently, the restoration of democracy in the Philippines.
What were the conditions that led to the event? What lessons remain relevant in the present time?
On Tuesday, July 30, the Ateneo de Manila University Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) Department launched the “Aquino Assassination Thirty Years After,” a series of lectures that will look at the different factors that led to the incident and its effects on the country.
The lecture series kicked off with a screening of the Martial Law documentary, Batas Militar.
Remembering the past
Dr Rofel Brion of the Interdisciplinary Studies department said the lecture series aims to create more awareness about the Aquino assassination.
“The anniversary provides the occasion for the school to reintroduce it to students who are too young to have witnessed it or to appreciate its significance,” Brion said in his welcoming address.
After watching the film, Management student Maxine Marcelino said she realized the gravity of the violations during the Martial Law period.
“I think people forgot how different it was then. We need to remember events like these to keep us inspired to work for the country’s future,” she said in a mix of Filipino and English.
The series will run until September 17. It will feature academics and experts who personally experienced Martial Law.
The following is the schedule of lectures:
Tuesday, 6 August: The Aquino Assassination, Activist Generations and Nonviolence by Dr Benjamin T. Tolosa Jr
Tuesday, 13 August: The Red Aquino: Ninoy and the Communist Party by Dr Lisandro Claudio
Tuesday, 20 August: The Aquino Assassination: The Challenge to Media by Melinda Quintos de Jesus
Tuesday, 27 August: The Church at EDSA: Multiple Identities and Allegiances by Jose Mario Francisco, SJ
Thursday, 29 August: Hindi Ka Nag-iisa: Voices of Protest in Literature, Theater and Film (1983-1986) by Nicanor Tiongson
Tuesday, 17 September: Post-Assassination: Looking for a Commander-in-Chief? by Criselda Yabes – Rappler.com
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