Aianna Xyril Monsod
Ninoy Aquino Day is celebrated every 21st of August in honor of the former President, however the NHCP was silent on plans regarding the commemorative day. Photo courtesy of SunStar Philippines.
August 21, Ninoy Aquino Day is not listed in the calendar of activities of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) for the month of August, which has also been observed as History Month.
The nonworking holiday occurring on a Monday this year, is not yet marked by any formal activities by the NHCP.
NHCP, an agency of the Office of the President, posted the schedule and materials on its Facebook page and Google Drive in July with seemingly lacking details for the said commemoration day.
The Martyred Aquino
On February 25, 2004, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Ninoy Aquino Day into law in commemoration of former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.'s assassination 40 years ago.
Aquino’s murder upon his return from exile in 1983 was regarded by many as the turning point in Marcos' dictatorship. This led to Ferdinand Marcos Sr.'s overthrow three years later, on February 25, during the Edsa People Power Revolution.
The Edsa People Power Commission is tasked with "plan and implement appropriate ceremonies for the observance," in accordance with Republic Act No. 9256, which also established Ninoy Aquino Day.
Writer and scholar Emmanuel Franco Calairo is the designated NHCP chief as ex officio chair of the Edsa People Power Commission as per Executive Order No. 47 issued by former president Rodrigo Duterte in November 2017.
Marcos Jr. Calls for ‘Unity”
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. publicly expressed honoring and praising the martyred Ninoy Aquino despite their well-known political rivalry.
Aquino was one of the prominent figures opposing the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos Sr., father of incumbent Philippine President Marcos Jr., during martial law in the 1970s.
"I stand united with all Filipinos worldwide in commemorating Ninoy Aquino Day. By standing for his beliefs and fighting for battles he deemed right, he became an example of relentlessness and resolve for many Filipinos," said Marcos in a statement.
The late President Benigno Aquino III, only son of the slain Aquino senator proclaimed August as History Month in 2012.