Ninoy Aquino: Fight for Freedom

The Making of a Hero

Was it his sheer audacity to come back to the Philippines after more than 3 years of exile - knowing the dangers that awaited him - that makes him a hero?

No. This audacity had been there long before the exile. How he fought for freedom and justice didn't happen just like that.

His life in politics started early. Very, very early. He was the youngest mayor at 22, the country's youngest vice-governor at 27, then governor of Tarlac 2 years later. He became the youngest senator in Philippine history at 34. His many achievements, despite his few years of experience, earned him the moniker, "Wonder Boy".

His popularity was greatly due to his daring criticism of the Marcos regime. Ninoy frequently challenged the dictatorship. Ninoy once referred to the Cultural Center of the Philippines, an extravagant P50-million project of the Former First Lady, as "a monument to shame" in his speech, A Pantheon for Imelda. Consequently, he was called a "congenital liar" by an outraged President Marcos, while the Philippine Free Press hailed him as one of the country's most outstanding senators.