Liham ni Ninoy kay Noynoy

August 25, 1973

Fort Bonifacio


Mr. Benigno S. Aquino III


My dearest Son:

One of these days , when you have completed your studies I am sure you will have the opportunity to visit many countries. And in your travels you will witness a bullfight.

In Spanish bullfighting as you know, a man – the matador – is pitted against an angry bull.

The man goads the bull to extreme anger and madness. Then a moment comes when the bull, maddened, bleeding and covered with darts, feeling his last moment has come, stops rushing about and grimly turns his face on the man with the scarlet “muleta” and sword. The Spaniards call this “the moment of truth.” This is the climax of the bullfight.

This afternoon, I have arrived at my own moment of truth. After a lengthy conference with my lawyers, Senators Jovito R. Salonga and Lorenzo M. Tanada I made a very crucial and vital decision that will surely affect all our lives: mommie’s, your sisters’, yours and all our loved ones as well as mine.

I have decided not to participate in the proceedings of the Military Commission assigned to try the charges filed against me by the army prosecution staff. As you know, I’ve been charged with illegal possession of firearms, violation of RA 1700 otherwise known as the “Anti-Subversion Act” and murder.

You are still too young to grasp the full impact of my decision. Briefly: by not participating in the proceedings, I will not be represented by counsel, the prosecution will present its witnesses without any cross examinations, I will not put up any defense, I will remain passive and quiet through the entire trial and I will merely await the verdict. Inasmuch as it will be a completely one-sided affair, I suppose it is reasonable to expect the maximum penalty will be given to me. I expect to be sentenced to imprisonment the rest of my natural life, or possibly be sent to stand before a firing squad. By adopting the course of action I decided upon this afternoon, I have literally decided to walk into the very jaws of death.

You may ask: why did you do it?

Son, my decision is an act of conscience. It is an act of protest against the structures of injustice that have been imposed upon our hapless countrymen. Futile and puny, as it will surely appear to many, it is my last act of defiance against tyranny and dictatorship.

You are my only son. You carry my name and the name of my father. I have no material wealth to leave you. I never had time to make money while I was in the hire of our people.

For this I am very sorry. I had hopes of building a little nest egg for you. I bought a ranch in Masbate in the hope that after ten or fifteen years, the coconut trees I planted there would be yielding enough to assure you a modest but comfortable existence.

Unfortunately, I had to sell all our properties as I fought battle after political battle as a beleaguered member of the opposition. And after the last battle, I had more obligations than assets.

The only valuable asset I can bequeath to you now is the name you carry. I have tried my best during my years of public service to keep that name untarnished and respected, unmarked by sorry compromises for expediency. I now pass it on to you, as good, I pray, as when my father, your grandfather passed it on to me.

I prepared a statement which I intend to read before the military commission on Monday at the opening of my trial. I hope the commission members will be understanding and kind enough to allow me to read my statement into the record. This may well be my first and only participation in the entire proceedings.

In this statement, I said: Some people suggested that I beg for mercy from the present powers that be. Son, this I cannot do in conscience. I would rather die on my feet with honor, than live on bended knees in shame.

Your great grandfather, Gen. Servilliano Aquino was twice condemned to death by both the Spaniards and the American colonizers. Fortunately, he survived both by a twist of fate.

Your grandfather, my father was also imprisoned by the Americans because he loved his people more than the Americans who colonized us. He was finally vindicated. Our ancestors have shared the pains, the sorrows and the anguish of Mother Filipinas when she was in bondage.

It is a rare privilege for me to join the Motherland in the dark dungeon where she was led back by one of her own sons whom she lavished with love and glory.

I ended my statement thus: I have chosen to follow my conscience and accept the tyrant’s revenge.

It takes little effort to stop a tyrant. I have no doubt in the ultimate victory of right over wrong, of evil over good, in the awakening of the Filipino.

Forgive me for passing unto your young shoulders the great responsibility for our family. I trust you will love your mother and your sisters and lavish them with the care and protection I would have given them.

I was barely fifteen years old when my father died. His death was my most traumatic experience. I loved and hero-worshipped him so much, I wanted to join him in his grave when he passed away. But as in all sorrows, eventually they are washed away by the rains of time.

In the coming years, I hope you will study very hard so that you will have a solid foundation on which to build your future. I may no longer be around to give you my fatherly advice. I have asked many of your uncles to help you along should the need arise and I pray you will have the humility to drink from their fountain of experiences.

Look after your two younger sisters with understanding and affection. Viel and Krissy will need your umbrella of protection for a long time. Krissy is still very young and fate has been most unkind to both of us. Our parting came too soon. Please make up for me. Take care of her as I would have taken care of her with patience and warm affection.

Finally, stand by your mother as she stood beside me through the buffeting winds of crisis and uncertainties firm and resolute and uncowed. I pray to God, you inherit her indomitable spirit and her rare brand of silent courage.

I had hopes of introducing you to my friends, showing you the world and guide you through the maze of survival. I am afraid, you will now have to go it alone without your guide.

The only advice I can give you: Live with honor and follow your conscience.

There is no greater nation on earth than our Motherland. No greater people than our own. Serve them with all your heart, with all your might and with all your strength.

Son, the ball is now in your hands.




29 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Dr. Noeh O. Fernandez Jr. said,

    This is the first time i have ever read this letter and as a Son and as a Father, My heart has been touched by the warmth of the Love of the Father Ninoy to His son and Namesake (Noynoy).

    I also so the image of my Dad in Ninoy. They practically have the same ideals in life. My dad has always said that “A good name is rather to be chosen that great riches, and loving favor rather than silver or gold.” – Proverbs 22:1.

    To sum it up, I have always said that I only consider 3 Filipino Heroes as my role model. One is Jose Rizal, the other is Raul Roco and the Third but definitely not the least, NINOY AQUINO, and hopefully, if all goes well and with God’s help, i will have a fourth one in NOYNOY.

    God bless and thanks for sharing this letter.

    Noeh O. Fernandez Jr., OD, MATS

  2. 2

    ferdie said,

    President Noy naniniwala kami sa iyo n pauularin mo ang bansa natin at marami kang matutulungan bagamat alam kong hindi lahat matutuwa sa iyo pero ipagpatuloy mo ang paggawang kabutihan. Ikaw na may dugong BAYANI t handang ipaglaban ang PILIPINAS. MABUHAY KA NOY Ang Bagong Presidente ng Pilipinas!!! Kaakibat nito ang aming dasal para sa iyo na ingatan k lagi at manatili and malusog mong pangangatawan. Pres, Noy we believe in you. Count me in as your friend and prayer parner. Im ferdinand hernandez from Pandacan, Manila

  3. 3

    ferdie said,

    We thank God for the family like you. You are gift from God.

  4. 4

    my heart is crumpled by this letter till now still aching.. grabeh nakakaiyak talaga. I know how hard to grow without a dad.. Anyways we believe in you NOY ..always praying for you.

    • 5

      Nitz M. Tolop, Abu dhabi, UAE said,

      The letter could really tell how Ninoy so loved his family….even when his own life was at stake, so selfless person….and we are so lucky being filipinos, having this family,because the love they have for each other is shared not only among themselves but also to the entire country, in Noynoy’s person.

      Go,go, Noy! You are the only hope for a renewed Philippines…Mabuhay ka at ang buong sambayanang Pilipino…

  5. 6

    deena fuh said,

    It is as if ninoy saw that his son would be the next president. As I always believe that the Philippines do not need a smart president it needs a president with a heart for his people, a conscience untarnished by the material glory of power. The roots of noynoy is very evident, he came from a family of heroes whose love for their country is unquestionable and whose spirit of goodness is of highest level. I wish I can thank ninoy and cory for their son…and all the sacrifices they have done so our sons would not experience anymore the hardship caused by greedy wealthy powerful leader we have now.More power Mr. President!!!

  6. 7

    jane macatangay said,

    kasama ko pong binabasa to with my mother, then we realized we were both crying. sobra talaga kming touched. ninoy is such a great man. mr. noynoy aquino… hope u carry on what your dad has said.
    btw, my mama likes u so much!

  7. 8

    Arnold Boseta said,

    I was crying while reading this letter, I was really touched. I can feel the love and care of Ninoy not only to his family but as well as to the whole country. Thank you very much Ninoy for everything you’ve done for our country. Hope Noy will not turnish the good name of his family.

  8. 9

    Jessica Molina Robiso said,

    Noy, in 1986 I was just 9 years old but I can still remember everything..I even laid my back as I saw them doing it on the streets of Edsa…thats how it all started. From that time to now, my admiration to your family is never equalled by any other name…take care of what has left…the most precious from your parents…

    Noy, ngayon pa lang, ikinakampanya na kita, my friends are happy too that you are running. I truly admire I admire Kris, your Mom and Dad and now your sisters too.

  9. 10

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Felicity Tan, Erica Robles. Erica Robles said: can't help the tears, but i'm so moved. […]

  10. 11

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ericarobles: can’t help the tears, but i’m so moved.

  11. 12

    Sherbet Manalili said,

    Reading this moved me to tears. Noy, do not let your father down. Do not let us down.

  12. 13

    ma.verma d.parayno said,

    i was crying when i read ninioy’sletter to noy. I love aquino family. Carry on noynoy ..I trust you and the aquino legacy remains in our heart.. God blees you

  13. 14

    Karen Palma said,

    I was very moved with the letter. I felt lots of emotion while reading this, I might sound exaggerated but it’s true. I felt gloomy and hints pain because of the government and because of our country’s so called “UNJUST Justice System” and at the same time I felt thankful because God still love our country for, he gave us Ninoy & Noynoy and other good people like them.

    Even though I’m not experiencing this kind of situations I know it’s hard for them (the Aquino Family) especially to all his (Ninoy) children.

    I may not be knowledgeable about what’s happening those times (I wasn’t born yet!) but I can feel the emotions too, reading this makes me cry… really!

    I wish I lived earlier so that I’ll see Ninoy, his achievements and join with his torment and trouble but I know he’s comfortable now in God paradise. I know it’s not too late. I trust his son Noynoy and I know, no matter what happen even if there are lots of devilish elements in the Government. The temptations and selfishness of other people and power I’m so sure he’ll be the same Noynoy that we used know … like his parents (don’t let me, (us) down Kuya Noy!!)
    Please transform in our Government; change our (the youths) beliefs about the Government!!

    If I can vote (sad to say I’m still under age) my vote counts for you…

  14. 15

    Nenette said,

    Panalo ka na Noy! I have talked to my friend in Northern Mindanao and she said ikaw ang no. 1 doon. Good luck Noy and we’re praying for you.

  15. 16

    Weak Hero said,

    Isa akong ordinaryong “pilipino” na naghahangad na makita ang ating bansa na muling bumangon. Nakikita ko ang mga senyales na may pag-asa pa. Habang Binabasa ko ang liham
    ni NINOY AQUINO, aking naiisip na “walang kapantay na pagmamahal sa pamilya sa Diyos at Bansa” ang ipinakita nya. Sa pagmamahal na un..pinakamahalaga ang sa “DIYOS”.Syento por Syento di mo nanaisin pang “mangurakot” pa o “ibenta sa dayuhan ang ating bansa”.

    NOYNOY, wag kang manghina sa sinasabi nilang kapos ka daw sa kaalaman.
    “SILA” sa sobra nilang katalinuhan nalimutan nila na sila pala’y nawawala sa katinuan.
    Nalimutan nila ang salitang “BAYANIHAN” , matalo or manalo, sa bandang huli’y nagdadamayan.


  16. 17

    Novie O'Farrell said,

    I read it with my heart and now I am speechless and in tears!

  17. 18

    Dennis Carpio said,

    Thanks for sharing.

    I admit, with all frankness, that I am voting Noynoy because I was not given the honor to do the same for Ninoy; not even the chance to see/hear him alive.

    Noynoy is the Next Best Thing. The AQUINO in Noynoy inspires me to become more. Hopefully it does the same for Philippines.

  18. 19

    rudy roque said,

    higit sa lahat ang linis ng puso at isipan ,upang mapag buklod at makabuo ng isang malinis gobyerno…at ikaw un NOY..ipagpatuloy mo ang nasimulan adhikain ng iyong yumaong ama upang makawala sa tanikala ng mga linta at kurakot na nagpapahirap sa sambayanan at mamamayan.

  19. 20

    fujianz said,

    Nadudurog ang puso ko sa sulat ni Hero Ninoy sa Iyo ,Future President Noynoy. Mahal ka ng mga tao dahil mabubuti, makabayan at makapamilya ang mga magulang mo. Sa Mindanao, sa Visayas, at lalo na dito sa Luzon ayon sa mga kaibigan at kakilala, matunog ang pangalan mo at sa iyo ang kanilang tiwala at kasama nila ako’y umaasa na ikaw nga ang magpatuloy sa laban ng mga magulang at ninuno mo. MABUHAY ANG MGA PILIPINONG NAGMAHAL SA MOTHERLAND. Tama, tanggalin ang TIWALI!

  20. 21

    genelyn cawitan said,

    Whenever i read a letter from Ninoy,his letter to her 1st daughter,tita Cory and this..can’t help i’m choking..,tears are running down my gifted Ninoy was,he’s blessed with intellect..can’t express in words how i adored him.nakakaiba siya..he’s my hero..NOYNOY i pray you continue to carry your good name..GODBLESS!!!

  21. 22

    jocal said,

    Here in the Philippines, most politicians get really rich. They own big houses and big cars while 90% of the population are leaving below the poverty line. The very people they were supposed to serve and protect. The families and children of these politicians parade their wealth and power. They know that life will only get better.


    Regardless, we Filipinos have the power to choose. Lets choose the Ninoys.


  22. 23

    Bing said,

    It’s so touching.

  23. 24

    dwight anthony trinidad said,

    the letter that i have read awhile ago inspired me so much, as of this moment i felt ashamed of myself because for me this is not the time for noynoy to run for presidency..

    “ngayon ko lang masasabi na ngayon na ang panahon para maging pangulo si benigno “noynoy” aquino III hindi dahil tama iyon kundi dahil iyon ang tama..

    ang palad nating mga pilipino dahil sa ating bansa isinilang ang isang ninoy aquno at dito sya nagkaroon ng pamilya.. mabuhay ka noynoy, mabuhay ka ninoy, mabuhay ka cory..

    -hindi masamang tao si kris , mabuti din sya tulad ng kanyang mga magulang.. may ibat-iba lang talaga tayong interpretasyon ng kabutihan..

  24. 25

    i,m in tear as i read the letter of ninoy for his son to carry on the fight for the good against bad. Its a big challenge that you will carry. Don’t worry Noy, COUNT ME AS ONE OF YOUR VOLUNTEER.

    Noy, I beleive in you and Mar that the torch you carry now is the torch of a real change that young and old of today is longing for.

    May the lord give you and the rest of the Liberal Party team this coming 2010 election the strength and luck to win the Presidency!


  25. 26

    bernadettepalma-reyes said,

    dear noynoy:
    i have always believed in the principles your family had through the years. we were the silent majority during those difficult martial rule. we were astounded with the world whehn ninoy was gunned down. my husband and i, with our 5-month old baby boy, stayed at edsa during the crucial people power revolution that changed the world. we supported your mom in her successful bid for the presidency. we had to rush for a mass card when we heard of president cory’s demise. we cried unabashedly bcause your loss was ours too. but we gained back the hope when you acceded to our request to run for president. and now this letter – this “moment of truth”. you may not know it, but you have shown the world the dignity and compassion and honesty of your parents. we have followed your trek to “stardom” so to speak. we salute you, deares noynoy. we shall be one with you in all your endeavors. godbless you and your sisters ballsy, pinky, viel and kris.

  26. 27

    Jack said,

    Dear Noy,

    I like best about your Dad’s letter, the part in which he apologized for not having provided you with material things, as he did not find any time to make money whilst he was serving the Filipino people. And the same also happened during your Mom’s (Tita Cory) term. However, they bequeathed to you and your family their good and untarnished name.

    Noy, the majority of the Filiipino people is supporting you and Mar in your quest, which also is our quest, to have a better governance, free from corrupt practices and a government that listens to the grievance/s of her people.

    Please be extra careful when you admit politicians who have “jumped” ship and join your crusade. Remember… this is not yours and Mar’s crusade alone, it is a crusade of the Filiipino people.

    With your leadership, ably supported by Mar, I, and countless others are seeing the sun brightlly shining again. As the song goes…” Here Comes The Sun…” The lyrics of which aptly describes the bleak sight that our country is into presently.

    Jack Chua

  27. 28

    Ces Lugo said,

    How can one put into words the patriotism and courage Ninoy Aquino had shown when he was alive. He fought for his principles, for what he believed was right and just. In doing so, Ninoy made a lot of sacrifices – financial and personal. His own family was second to his first love – our country the Philippines and the Filipino people. Ninoy is indeed a hero with no fear of death because he believed Filipinos are worth dying for!

    This is the first time I came across this letter of Ninoy to his son Noynoy. By a stroke of fate and coincidence, both men lost their own fathers as teenagers. Noynoy was 14 and Ninoy was 15. As typical teenagers, self-sacrifice is uncool and a no-go word and yet for the father and son, destiny had carved it right into their soul.

    The Philippines need a leader who can lead. Lead by example on honesty, faith, good governance, trust and transparent. No one except Noynoy Aquino has these innate qualities. They are qualities that cannot be bought in a nearby sari-sari store or can be developed even by the best coach/trainer. They are qualities that only would come from the heart; from the family you have grown up with that accept this as a norm.

    I pray that the 48 million voters of the Philippines would be enlightened to vote for the right man – Noynoy Aquino!

  28. 29

    Gerald Pring said,

    I really admired Ninoy he is the man who had conscience and dignity. Despite all his wealth and power, he chose to be imprisoned for the sake of the motherland and for the filipinos. Honestly, i cant explain how i feel but i have lesson learned..Im not even close with my family, but with Ninoy’s message to Noynoy, i realized how important the family is…Thanks to you sir because it open my eyes…good luck to Noy, goodluck to his plans…


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