Ken Kashiwahara, an ABC-TV journalist who was the brother-in-law of former Philippine Senator Benigno Aquino (Ninoy), was interviewed recently by the BBC program “Witness” about the August 21, 1983 assassination of the Senator which led to the fall of Marcos in 1986. Go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03035zm to see the original.
Mr. Kashiwahara was a star witness at the November 1989 trial of Estates of Domingo and Viernes v. Ferdinand Marcos and played the video of Ninoy’s assassination for the federal court jury trial. The Committee for Justice for Domingo and Viernes
(CJDV) proved that this assassination was part and parcel of the same conspiracy against the anti-Marcos opposition in the US that had resulted in the murders of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes. Read a landmark deposition, from the case, of Ferdinand Marcos here.
At this trial and in the BBC’s Witness interview, Mr. Kashiwahara recalled that the Senator was in a good mood during the flight, only putting on a bullet proof vest after his plane landed. Even so, Aquino told Ken that if anyone wanted to assassinate him they could shoot him in the head. Aquino believed that being a public servant, he should expect assassination plots.
Tens of thousands of Filipinos filled the streets during the five-day funeral and memorial. Senator Aquino’s, widow, Corazon Aquino, made the decision to not redress his body; it was shown with his bullet holes and same clothes to remind people of the brutality of the Marcos dictatorship. Three years later she led the People’s Power Movement to overthrow the Marcos dictatorship and establish a democratic republic. Her son, Benigno Aquino Jr. is now the President of the Philippines.
The Domingo and Viernes Story includes a chapter on the Aquino Assassination and will describe how Marco’s involvement in that murder was further proof that he had Gene and Silme murdered as well. The present Philippine government is being asked to turn over evidence from the Marcos years to document the identity of the Philippine military intelligence officers involved in the surveillance of Gene Viernes while he was in the Philippines shortly before the murders as well as those involved in paying and arranging for the June 1, 1981 murders. In 2011 both Gene and Silme, along with Sen. Aquino, were honored to be included on the “Wall of Martyrs” of those who gave their lives fighting the Marcos dictatorship.