MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III joined family and friends at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City on Friday, August 21, to commemorate the 32nd death anniversary of former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.
Relatives and friends joined Aquino and sisters Maria Elena “Ballsy” Aquino-Cruz, Aurora Corazon “Pinky” Aquino-Abellada, and Victoria Elisa “Viel” Aquino-Dee, in praying the rosary for Ninoy Aquino, whose assasination in 1983 sparked a movement that helped restore Philippine democracy.
Kris Aquino and her sons, Josh and Bimby, were not seen at the event.
The others who joined the Aquino family were former Manila mayor Alfredo Lim, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, and Japanese journalist Kiyoshi Wakamiya, who was with Ninoy on the plane headed to Manila in 1983.
Ninoy was assassinated on August 21, 1983, at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport. He had just returned after 3 years of self-exile with his family in the United States.
His death triggered a chain of events that led to the overthrow of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, and the election of Ninoy's widow, Corazon Aquino, as president.
Malacañang said the legacy of Ninoy Aquino has not been forgotten. (READ: Ninoy Aquino: What is he to you?)
"Today, these sentiments remain strong even among those who were not yet around at the time, as history has seared this image of ultimate sacrifice into our collective memory," Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.
The President later attended a Mass for his father and his late uncle, former senator Agapito "Butz" Aquino, who died on August 17, at the St Benilde Gymnasium of the La Salle Greenhills in Mandaluyong City.