Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija
21 September 2012

President Benigno S. Aquino III recalled the sufferings and martyrdom of his father, the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., while he was detained in Fort Magsaysay, previously called Laur, together with Senator Jose “Pepe” Diokno during the Martial Law era.

In his speech at the inauguration of the Aquino-Diokno Memorial and the AFP Center for Human Rights in Nueva Ecija, the President remembered his father’s hardship from the time he was sent to Laur up to the moment when Ninoy was shot at the Manila International Airport when he came back from Boston, Massachusetts.

President Aquino recalled how his family was deeply affected by the inhumane and uncompassionate treatment given to his father under the dictatorship of President Ferdinand Marcos. He said that at the time when they were allowed to visit Ninoy in his cell in Laur, instead of being sad for seeing his father’s condition or being happy to finally be with him, what he felt were anger and avengement. He also admitted that up to this moment, it is still hard for him to watch the videos of Ninoy’s last days on earth.

President Aquino hopes that Fort Magsaysay will continue to be a place where human rights for all sectors of the society is developed.

Meanwhile, the President led the unveiling of the marker of the new AFP Center for Human Rights Dialogue together with National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Chairperson Maria Serena Diokno. He then toured the center as well as the refurbished Aquino-Diokno Memorial.

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