Secret US cables reveal Ninoy Aquino open to supporting martial law in 1972

In his piece What Ninoy told the US about Marcos published on the Inquirer today, columnist Ambeth Ocamo reveals some interesting things the late former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr reportedly told American diplomat John Forbes. Forbes documented his conversation with Aquino in a confidential telegram sent to the US State Department on the 21st September 1972.

In his report, Forbes detailed how Aquino noted the “rapidly worsening law and order and Communist dissident problems” of the time and the economic woes faced by the Marcos government. In light of these challenges, Aquino reportedly believed “that Marcos must take strong actions in the near future and that these will include martial law”. Interestingly, Aquino reportedly said that he would support Marcos’s plan to implement martial law even as he doubted that the government possessed adequate resources to carry it out.

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Strangely, Aquino at the time was also “keeping open an option to lead an anti-Marcos revolution in alliance with the Communists.” This reveals a glaring inconsitency in the position Aquino took. On one hand, he had recognised the merits of the what, at the time, was the Marcos government’s option of declaring martial law to address, among others, “Communist dissident problems”. On the other, Aquino also seriously considered, at the same time, the option to collaborate with those very same communists. What’s up with that? Was Aquino suffering some kind of bizarre psychosis during his conversation with Forbes?

More revealing is Aquino’s stated justification for that possible collaboration with the commies; that, at the time, “the possibilities of his becoming head of government by legitimate means [were] quickly diminishing”. Aquino, it seems, had always regarded legitimacy as a roadblock rather than a means to acquiring power. Indeed it turns out that Aquino was, himself, a key part of the problems that kept the Philippines on a firm trajectory towards the Martial Law regime that was to come to be.

Finally, to those who harshly judge current Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for the allegedly “murderous” pronouncements that, nonetheless, resonated with a crime-weary electorate and catapulted him to power, Aquino himself was not above applying the same bravado to describing his planned leadership style…

Aquino said that if he were president he wouldn’t hesitate to take strong measures and said he would “execute corrupt officials at Luneta as a lesson to other officials that he meant business.”

Ocampo observes, “So much of our contemporary history lies waiting to be uncovered in the United States.” In short, there is more to Philippine history and many other alternative angles to consider that lie outside of the inbred work of popular Filipino historians and historical “analysts”. This piece of insight is important considering the shrill voices that pompously lay unfounded and unqualified claim to the “truth” about the Philippines and what is considered to be the “decent” and “moral” position to take in its politics.

9 Replies to “Secret US cables reveal Ninoy Aquino open to supporting martial law in 1972”

  1. Aquino said that if he were president he wouldn’t hesitate to take strong measures and said he would “execute corrupt officials at Luneta as a lesson to other officials that he meant business.”

    Which means he should have shot himself in the head right away to prove that he was dead serious!

  2. If Ninoy was a CIA agent as alleged who leaked Marcos plan to unvade Sabah, is it still suprising for him to support Marcos in the declaration of Martial Law?

    His conscience might have bothered him because there was that great possibility of Miauari dismembering Mindanao with the help of Malaysia !

  3. Ninoy Aquino, Jr. is the worst political opportunist, the country ever had. All he thought was : power, wealth and his Hacienda Luisita.

    If he told the U.S./C.I.A., his plans to collaborate with the NPA communist; and at the same time, worked as a U.S./C.I.A agent. This is a double agent, who may had leaked some secret operation to the NPA communists, and to communist China.

    The NPA communist is allied to communist China. So, it may be the reason , he was assassinated by the U.S./C.I.A. Then, the U.S./C.I.A. pointed Marcos Sr., as the murderer.

    Putting Cory Aquino, as the President, was the way the U.S./C.I.A. works. Cory Aquino is a weak leader… they can easily manipulate her.

    This article is like a connection of the dots, that lead to the reason Ninoy Aquino, Jr. , was assassinated.

    Remove all the pictures of any Aquino . They are bunch of traitors and narcissists !

    Pnoy Aquino is the Shabu Drug Cartel head in the Philippines ! He is a ranking member of the Chinese Triad Mafia !

    Mar Roxas and Leila de Lima are his subordinates …

  4. Wow, juicy information that came up. I wonder what else could be dug up to throw our mistaken impressions into disarray and shock us with more cold real truth.

  5. Truth can be shocking…maybe the milleneals are wondering, that they are taken for a ride by the Aquino and Cojuangco political axis.

    This family are a bunch of traitors. Remember Benigno Aquino Sr., was a Japanese Militarist collaborator, in World War II .

    He was sentenced to death for treason, after taking refuge in Tokyo, Japan after the liberation of the Philippines !

  6. Input Marcos obssession with 7 making 21 that encourage Ninoy to come back in August 21, 1983 aka Marcial Bonifacio. It must have been Ninoy’s death wish the only way to remove Marcos.

    With Imelda believing in seers and paychics, she was convinced a woman would replaced Marcos after his death. It is possible the ugly Americans who were promoting globalization and weakening of nation states thru IMF/WB/WTO goaded some ambitious double faced Marcos boys like Cojuangco and Jobo Fernandez delivered the coup de grace.

    And the the unexpected happened that led to the iconic EDSA86.

    Bringing the specter of death right in the doorsteps of the ruling and opposing elites like an imminent threat of a nuclear armageddon made it possible.

  7. Discourse and critical thinking are essential tools when it comes to securing progress in a democratic society. But in the end, unity and engaged participation are what make it happen.

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