The three great Filipino martyrs
From Page B3 the Philippines. But the Japanese pursued him and he was captured on May 6, 1942. He was taken to prison as a prisoner of war.
Abad Santos was promised by the Japanese government a high position in the government, and also a large sum of money just to join the Japanese in search for the other Filipino generals like Roxas, Capinpin, and many others. But he turned down the offer of the Japanese government, instead he said he would rather die for his country and people than to be a traitor to them. So Abad Santos was tried in the Japanese Court. He was found guilty of a crime committed without knowing the cause. The Japanese gave him a death sentence. On May 7, 1942, Jose Abad Santos and his son were sent to Malabang, Lanao. Before his death Jose Abad Santos said to his son, Pepito, “Don’y cry, my son, this day is a great day for me; many are called to be a hero, but few are chosen to die for their country.” Facing the great odds and multitude of the enemy, Jose Abad Santos was executed and became a hero and martyr. Only few are chosen to die in different periods of time in history. He was chosen to be one of them.
BENIGNO S. AQUINO
Benigno Aquino was born in Concepcion, Tarlac. He graduated from San Beda College High School. He obtained his Bachelor of Law in the University of the Philippines. A young and adventurous newspaperman, he even interviewed Luis Taruc, the Huk Supremo on February 17, 1954 and persuaded him to surrender to the government. He was elected Mayor, Governor, and the youngest senator of the Philippines. In 1972, during the martial law period, Ninoy was arrested arid imprisoned in Fort Bonifacio. He was tried by the military court which sentence him to death for subversion. But Marcos did not implement the death sentence. Later, Ninoy went to America for heart treatment. After two years, Ninoy returned in 1983 for reconciliation and unification of the Filipino people but upon his arrival at the Manila International Airport on August 21, 1983, he was assassinated.
Ninoy’s death shocked the entire Filipino people, and of course, spread throughout the world. His sudden death was immortalized and his name was idolized by many as a hero and martyr. According to Senator Edward Kennedy of the United States, “Ninoy was the greatest Filipino patriot of his generation. He was killed in the cause of freedom.” Ninoy was heralded and even outshone the rest of the Filipino heroes. He was a martyr and champion of peace.
He was gi ven a minted commemorative gold coin by Mayer’s Mint Company on his 20th anniversary of his martyrdom. Ninoy was among the world’s greatest champions for peace, such as Pope John Paul II, Mahatma Gandhi, Princess Diana, John F. Kennedy, and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
In 1986, Rizal was executed at Bagumbayan. After 46 years, Abad Santos was executed at Malabang, Lanao. Then again, after 41 years, Ninoy was assassinated at Manila International Airport for the same cause – love of country.