Better Late Than Never: Mila D. Aguilar on Cory Aquino

Self happened upon Mila D. Aguilar’s first-person account in the September 2009 issue of Filipinas Magazine.  (Self is proud to say: she’s been subscribing to the magazine since the very first issue):

My President has been laid to rest. Now I can break my silence. For the one who presently sits on her manufactured throne is not my president. She never was.

My President is she who freed me from a Marcos prison in 1986. I know that she alone is not responsible for 1986, for the millions as well as the thousands who died in the years before that, including my husband, and the tens of thousands who fought the dictatorship and led the revolution, including me.

Yet it was she who freed me from prison. The nuns who were there when she announced my freedom proudly told me that the first name she mentioned in Crame, of those who were to be freed, was mine. I understand, of course, that it must have been because my last name begins with an A.

Still, I was literally the first person out of prison the day after the EDSA victory, so it must have been a deliberate decision on her part and on the part of those who surrounded her. I could have been construed as someone who might turn a new leaf to become a reformist, for the U.S. TV show “Good Morning, America” even took the pains, and the expense, to interview me direct via satellite right after I left prison.

I had always wanted to thank her for freeing me, but I never managed. All I could do was to convey my gratitude through Joker Arroyo (then executive secretary of the Aquino administration), who had been my lawyer before Marcos’ Military Commission. But I do not know if he ever did.

Self would love to reproduce the entire article here, dear blog readers, for she found it uncommonly moving. But her fingers ache, it’s long past time for dinner, and she has to check on her garden. Stay tuned.

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