VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Online post REWRITES and DISTORTS Aquino family history

Read this fact check in Filipino


Not one, or two, but four generations of Aquino men had their histories and legacies wrongly rewritten in a story published May 24 by website News Galore (newsgalore.org).

The story, which bore the headline “Truth Revealed: ‘Kung Ano ang Puno ay Siya ang Bunga’ (The 4 traitors of the Phils.) (Truth Revealed: ‘Whatever the tree shall be its fruit’ (The 4 traitors of the Phils.),” sourced its statements from a Facebook post shared that day by The Untold History of the Philippines page.

STATEMENTS

The material shared by The Untold History of the Philippines was a May 23 Facebook post by the page Ang Kapal Na Nga, Ang Kupal Pa. It publishes mostly content against the critics of President Rodrigo Duterte, and at times singles out the oppositional Liberal Party, which has long been associated with the Aquinos since Ninoy’s involvement in national politics in the 1960s.

The page’s targets this time were four men from the old, politically active family: from the revolutionary great-grandfather to the former chief executive great-grandson.

While spelled correctly in the Facebook post, News Galore also curiously replaced some of the letter Os and Es in the statements with an asterisk (*).

SERVILLANO AQUINO

- Charged with reb*llion, surrendered and was jailed in Bilibid Prison September 1902 and he was sentenced to Hang.

BENIGNO “igno” AQUINO SR.

- A "MAKAPILI" member, a militant group formed in the Philippines in 1944 during WW2 to support and give military aid to the Japanese Imperial. He was charged of " TREAS*N" by the Phil. Govt. in 1946, sentenced to d*ath, but he di*d of heart attack in 1947 while awaiting trial.

BENIGNO “ninoy” AQUINO JR.

- Organized the CPP-NPA group of communist and appointed Joma Sison as leader of the group, he was convicted of " TREAS*N" also by the Phil.Govt in Nov.25, 1977 but he was saved by MARCOS. He asked Malaysia to support for his candidacy and military aids for his CPP-NPA group and in exchange he exposed to the Malaysian Govt. Pres.FERDINAND MARCOS plan to reclaim SABAH.

BENIGNO “ninoy” AQUINO III

- Ang nagbenta ng SCARBOROUGH sa China, at nagpuslit ng 3,500 MT of Marcos Gold..At posibleng kasuhan din sya ng kasong "TREAS*N"

FACTS

Historical accounts, official government records and several news reports show that majority of the claims made by News Galore and the Facebook pages were inaccurate, and sometimes, downright false.

General Servillano, or Mianong as he had been called at home, was a commandant of the revolutions in Tarlac against the Spanish in the late 1890s. He became a “devout partisan” of the country’s first president, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, after joining him in voluntary exile in Hong Kong; he had also been a student in the military school of Gen. Antonio Luna.

It was in a war against the Americans in 1900, cradled in Mt. Arayat, where News Galore was correct in claiming Mianong had surrendered as a guerilla.

“Before the deadline of amnesty in September, 1900, General Aquino came down from the mountain, surrendered “unconditionally” to U.S. Brigadier General Frederick Dent Grant…”

Source: Joaquin, N. (1983).The Aquinos of Tarlac. p. 66.

He, however, was not charged with rebellion then as the online post claims but was accused of the murder of an American prisoner. He was charged with rebellion during his revolt against the Spanish and was handed his first death sentence.

“[A] trap was laid for him; he was caught, taken to Manila, thrown into Fort Santiago, court-martialed and found guilty of sedition.The rebel was sentenced to death before the firing squad.”

Source: Joaquin, N. (1983).The Aquinos of Tarlac. p. 42.

This death sentence dissipated following the Pact of Biak-na-Bato, or the 1897 “truce” with the Spanish.

The general was once again sentenced to death for the alleged murder of an American prisoner, but News Galore failed to mention that this had been reduced to life imprisonment. The general was also jailed in Bilibid in 1901, not 1902.

“One day, the two generals were taken out, Gen. Diokno to his own house and Gen. Aquino to Bilibid Prison. The latter had been court martialed and was sentenced to death for the alleged murder of an American prisoner. However, his sentence was commuted by the President of the United States to life imprisonment.”

Source: Joaquin, N. (1983).The Aquinos of Tarlac. p. 67.

Mianong was pardoned in 1904 by United States President Theodore Roosevelt.

“Two years later he was pardoned by President Theodore Roosevelt... [t]he reason given was that General Frederick Dent Grant, the presiding officer at the Aquino trial, had 'also expressed doubt as to the identification of Aquino... being positive.'”

Source: Joaquin, N. (1983).The Aquinos of Tarlac. p. 69

General Servillano’s son Benigno, or Igno, was a long-time politician who was among the three “men of importance” the Japanese considered during their occupation, third to fellow statesmen Jorge Vargas and Jose Yulo.

became reluctant to support their initiatives.

Igno was indeed charged with treason in August 1946 but was not sentenced to death. He had pleaded innocent to the charge and was granted bail.

“In mid-August they (Ignoy, Jose P. Laurel, and Jorge Vargas), were arraigned before the People’s Court, entered a plea of innocent to the charges of treason, petitioned for bail, and after quite a fuss, were finally granted bail. On September 11 they were released from prison.”

Source:Joaquin, N. (1983).The Aquinos of Tarlac. p. 176.

He did indeed die of a heart attack in 1947 while awaiting trial, while watching a live boxing match.

Igno’s son Ninoy, who was with him at the Rizal Memorial Stadium where he suffered the fatal heart attack, would later on become a man of prominence as well, as opposition leader against the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

News Galore’s claim that Ninoy organized the Communist Party of the Philippines and its militant arm New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), and appointed Jose Maria Sison as its leader, is unsubstantiated. While Sison, the recognized founding father of the CPP-NPA, has said Ninoy was “not known to be hostile to the NPA,” he said there was no “formal alliance” between them.

On the claim that he was convicted of treason then “saved” by Marcos, more accurately, Ninoy was convicted of subversion, murder and illegal possession of firearms on Nov. 25, 1977; he was given medical furlough by Marcos in 1980 for the coronary bypass surgery he needed to undergo in the United States. (See: The New York Times' obituary for Ninoy Aquino: BENIGNO AQUINO, BITTER FOE OF MARCOS)

News Galore wrongly linked Ninoy once again to the CPP-NPA in another claim, saying he talked to Malaysia to ask support for the rebels. According to former Foreign Affairs national territory division chief Hermes Dorado, the meeting had actually been for a Marcos ouster.

The Marcos plan to reclaim Sabah - Oplan Merdeka - was exposed in Ninoy’s March 1968 privilege speech. The website’s claim that it was exposed during his talk with Malaysia lacks proof.

Ninoy’s only son Benigno III, whose nickname “Noynoy” News Galore wrongly stated as “Ninoy,” also came to face charges of his own during his term as the country’s president. He was indeed charged with treason and espionage for allegedly having backchannel talks with China to ease tension during a standoff on the Scarborough Shoal in 2012, but the Ombudsman dismissed the complaint in June 2017.

The other claim about Noynoy amassing 3,500 metric tons of “Marcos gold” is based on a fabricated document. (See:THIS WEEK IN FAKE NEWS: Aquino, allies DID NOT transfer Marcos gold to foreign company)

https://www.nytimes.com/1983/08/22/obituaries/beni...

Elefante, F. V. (2016, June 13). “The Philippines’s Second Republic and a forgotten Independence Day.” Retrieved from https://businessmirror.com.ph/the-philippiness-second-republic-and-a-forgotten-independence-day/

Jose, R.T. (2001, Dec. 27). The Association for Service to the New Philippines(KALIBAPI) during the Japanese Occupation: Attempting to Transplant a Japanese Wartime Concept to the Philippines. The Journal of Sophia Asian Studies, 19. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20141020023247/http://repository.cc.sophia.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/123456789/5217/1/200000079942_000121000_149.pdf

Sison, J. M. (2010, Oct. 1). “ON NINOY AQUINO’S RELATIONS WITH CPP & NPA.” Retrieved from https://josemariasison.org/on-ninoy-aquinos-relations-with-cpp-npa/

Joaquin, N. (1983). The Aquinos of Tarlac. Manila: Cacho Hermanos, Inc.

“Jabidah! Special Forces of Evil?” by Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr., The Official Gazette, Mar. 28, 1968.


(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

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