Throwback: The history and context behind the Ninoy Aquino kiss

June 7, 2018 - 3:31 PM
PCOO assistant secretary Mocha Uson shared a video that juxtaposed President Rodrigo Duterte's kiss and Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. being kissed, prompting an explanation as to how the late senator got involved in the act. (Art by Uela Badayos)

Kris Aquino previously slammed Mocha Uson for comparing her father Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. to President Rodrigo Duterte on the subject of publicly kissing women, bringing into mind the context of how Ninoy got kissed in the first place.

Uson shared a video of Ninoy being kissed by some of his female supporters in a plane and used it as a means of comparison to defend Duterte kissing an OFW.


Ano masasabi ninyo dito?CTTO

Posted by MOCHA USON BLOG on Sunday, June 3, 2018

Ninoy has just arrived from the United States on a self-imposed exile at that time. It was the same day he would be assassinated in an airport that would eventually be named after him.

How Ninoy Aquino went into exile 

Ninoy was a well-known political rival of Ferdinand Marcos even before the declaration of Martial Law. He was already a staunch critic of the strongman, constantly challenging Marcos’ oppressive policies.

When Marcos declared Martial Law in 1972, Ninoy was among the first ones imprisoned by the authoritarian. He was falsely charged with murder, illegal possession of firearms and subversion.

Ninoy was imprisoned in Fort Bonifacio, where he went on a 40-day hunger strike to protest how the military tribunal unfairly oversaw his case.

This led to his health deteriorating until his family members urged him to eat properly. At the end of his hunger strike, he lost 18 kilos but remained imprisoned.

In 1980, he suffered two heart attacks but refused to be examined by the doctors of Philippine Heart Center, believing that Marcos might have plotted attempts against his life since it was one of the government facilities built by the dictator.

Ninoy requested to be treated in the United States instead, which the regime granted under two supposed conditions — that he would return and refrain from badmouthing them.

Exile and homecoming 

Ninoy went to the States with his family and successfully got operated by a Filipino-American doctor.

He settled in Massachusetts and gave lectures while on fellowship grants from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He also gave speeches that heavily criticized the Marcoses in freedom rallies.

In 1983, Ninoy decided to return to the Philippines, although he was completely aware of the threats against him. He was quoted as saying, “If it’s my fate to die by an assassin’s bullet, so be it… the Filipino is worth dying for.”

He was determined to talk to Marcos about restoring democracy.

Ninoy obtained a passport under the pseudonym “Marcial Bonifacio” and flew to the Philippines via China Airlines.

Former journalist Philip Lustre Jr. claimed that this was where he was filmed being kissed by his supporters. Ninoy was inside the plane.

The video wasn’t able to capture the whole scenario, hence the misinterpretation that launched a word war between Kris Aquino, Ninoy’s daughter, and Mocha Uson, a blogger-turned-government official.

Lustre covered Ninoy’s assassination and explained on Facebook what led to the supposed controversial kiss.

PROPER CONTEXT. This is something I could speak with authority. I was a journalist, who happened to cover the Aug. 21,…

Posted by Philip Jr Lustre on Tuesday, June 5, 2018


“Two Filipino women passengers recognized Ninoy Aquino and took fancy of him. Ninoy Aquino was a man of great charisma and when the two ladies saw him, they buzzed him without any provocation,” Lustre Jr. said.

“I saw the video several times. The two ladies were wishing him good luck too. It was later explained that the two women noticed how anxious Ninoy Aquino was,” he said.

Lustre Jr. continued to recount how “they felt that planting some playful kisses would ease the anxiety, which was then clearly etched on his face.”

“Even Ninoy Aquino responded playfully to those advances done inside the plane. ‘Naku, lagot ako kay Cory,’ he told the two ladies. The people who surrounded them laughed, of course,” he continued.

When Ninoy exited the plane, he was assassinated and the rest is history. — Art by Uela Badayos