Ninoy Aquino: Fight for Freedom

The Horrendous Homecoming

For the next three years in self-imposed exile, Ninoy's love for his country and countrymen did not diminish but only grew stronger. By beginning of 1983, he was determined to return especially after having heard of the declining political situation in the Philippines, as well as Marcos' growing health risk due to lupus.

His original intention in coming home was to talk earnestly to Marcos and convince him to restore democracy through peaceful means. Though realizing that this may be futile, it did not stop him from wanting to return knowing that , "I will never be able to forgive myself if I did not at least try."

Despite orders not to issue him a passport; threatening airlines that they will be denied landing rights if they fly him in; and threats of imprisonment and even death, Aquino persevered insisting that "If it's my fate to die by an assassin's bullet, so be it… the Filipino is worth dying for."

With the help of Rashid Lucman, a friend and former congressman from Mindanao, Ninoy was able to obtain a legitimate passport under the name Marcial Bonifacio (Marcial for martial law and Bonifacio for Fort Bonifacio) and immediately planned out his detour route home.

On the plane, he is joined by several journalists whom he told to "be ready with your camera because this action can become very fast… in a matter of 3 or 4 minutes, it could be all over… and I may not be able to talk to you again after this…" As he prepared to set foot again in his motherland, he made a final statement: "I have returned to join the ranks of those struggling to restore our rights and freedom through non-violence. I seek no confrontation."