Heartbreaking footage of former Filipino Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino’s final interview before getting off the plane that took him back from exile to his home country. Though he was wearing a bullet-proof vest, he was assassinated the moment he stepped off the plane on August 21, 1983. Aquino had spent seven years and seven months in prison. Upon his release he moved to the United States. Hearing of President Ferdinand Marcos’ declining health and the deteriorating political situation in his country, he returned with the hope of bringing democracy back to the country.
Aquino’s body lies in state in a glass coffin. No effort was made to disguise a bullet wound that had disfigured his face. In an interview with Aquino’s mother, Aurora, she told the funeral parlor not to apply makeup nor embalm her son so as to see “what they did to my son.” Thousands of supporters flocked to see the bloodied body of Aquino, which took place at the Aquino household in Times Street, Quezon City for nine days. Aquino’s wife, Corazon Aquino, and children (Ballsy, Pinky, Viel, Noynoy and Kris) arrived the day after the assassination. Aquino’s funeral procession was on August 31, 1983. It lasted from 9 a.m.–when his funeral mass was held at Santo Domingo Church in Santa Mesa Heights, Quezon City, with the Cardinal Archbishop of Manila, Jaime Sin officiating–to 9 p.m., when his body was interred at the Manila Memorial Park. More than two million people lined the streets during the procession which was aired by the Church-sponsored “Radio Veritas,” the only station to do so. The procession reached Rizal Park, where the Philippine flag was brought to half-staff.