The three great Filipino martyrs

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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 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.

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