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Fighting from a DistanceHow Filipino Exiles Helped Topple a Dictator$
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Jose V. Fuentecilla

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037580

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037580.001.0001

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Reviving the Opposition

Reviving the Opposition

Arrival of an Exile Hero

Chapter 10 Reviving the Opposition
Fighting from a Distance

Jose V. Fuentecilla

University of Illinois Press

This chapter details events following the arrival of Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. to the United States. Aquino, better known by his nickname “Ninoy,” arrived in Dallas, Texas, on May 8, 1980, for heart bypass surgery. He had spent the preceding seven years and seven months in a military prison in the Philippines. Caught in the dragnet of martial law mass arrests in 1982, he was among the first political prisoners to be rounded up. At thirty-four years of age, he was the youngest senator elected to the national Congress, the lone opposition Liberal Party candidate amid the election sweep of the incumbent Nacionalista Party of President Marcos. During the next four years, Aquino stood in the Senate as the severest critic of Marcos. While Aquino was in jail, he had a heart attack. Concerned with the consequences for his regime should Aquino die incarcerated, Marcos temporarily released him for medical treatment abroad. His arrival in the United States galvanized the Filipino opposition movement.

Keywords:   Benigno S. Aquino Jr., political exile, opposition, Ferdinand Marcos

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