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Transcript of Ninoy Aquino’s Phone Conversation with Psinakis

This transcript was taken from taped telephone conversation two days before Ninoy left the United States on the way to the Philippines, with his close friend, the late Steve Psinakis (the husband of Presentacion Lopez, the only daughter of “Don” Eugenio Lopez, Sr.) who taped it.

Image courtesy of http://www.kahimyang.com

Transcript of Aquino’s telephone conversation with Psinakis August 13, 1983

Transcript of Aquino’s telephone conversation with Psinakis August 13, 1983

Ninoy Aquino: Hi Steve, I’m at the airport and I cannot leave America without saying goodbye to you and expressing to you my deepest gratitude.

Steve Psinakis: Our prayers are always with you and all I can [say]is, remember that a word from you and anything you want is in your fingertips from me, okay? There’s no limit to what I will do for you if you need some help. We are praying for you, for your safety and success and freedom of people, okay?

Aquino: Now this is the latest, Steve, that I can give you. My source is Cardinal Sin. Number one: Marcos checked in at the Kidney Center. The experts went, saw him, they did a test. He flunked all tests and the conclusion was if they operate on him, it would be fatal.

So he went back to the Palace. He is no longer responding to medication and he will have to be hooked up to the dialysis machine now more often. How he will last with that machine on, I don’t know. Apparently they are now moving to put Imelda in effective control. And they are going to revamp the Cabinet, with (Roberto) Ongpin most probably emerging as prime minister and finance minister. Danding Cojuangco or [General Fabian] Ver, defense minister. O. D. Corpus possibly foreign minister, and maybe Ayala, I mean Enrique, maybe agriculture minister, I don’t know.

But there’s a major shake-up. Marcos met with his generals and apparently said goodbye to them last Friday. He was on television in Manila 24 hours ago, commenting on the boxing fight of Navarette and Talbot to show the people he is okay. But it’s a matter of time, so he wanted three weeks to collect this thoughts, write his memoirs, complete his book and most probably craft the final stages of his administration.

He’s a man now: Terminal. He knows he’s going and that’s the background I’m coming in.

Psinakis: I [also]heard some of this yesterday. I got some reports, not of course as authoritative as yours, but pretty much the same that something was wrong and they couldn’t operate and so forth. At any rate, the thought that comes to mind is that is good and bad. Good in that he’s going and he knows it. He might show some compassion for the country and treat your return with more pragmatic thinking. The bad part may be that hardliners like Ver who are bulldogs without any political savvy, who may think that they’re next in line [of succession]. Obviously, such people would look at your return with uh … That’s what I’m worried about.

Aquino: Well, there are two reports I received along that line. Well, if they pinpoint the plane I’m coming in. The rumor in Manila is that I’m taking the private jet of Enrique (Zobel) from Hong Kong. But all planes are being guarded and they may close the airport on Sunday or turn back the plane if they would be able to pinpoint which one I’m coming in.

The third, and this is the real iffy. They have two guys stationed to know me out at the airport. And they will try them for murder, they’ll convict them, but they have assurances.

Psinakis: Ah … let’s not think about that.

Aquino: Yeah, that’s the … Those are the things that I’ve been alerted. So, I don’t know what options they will do now. But I am meeting with ASEAN leaders beginning Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Indonesia – Suharto might receive me. Malaysia is already firm and Thailand is just about firm. Now Japan has sent word that if Imelda is in place [Prime Minister] Nakasone is willing to use his economic clout.

Psinakis: Ah really, huh?

Aquino: Yes … to tell Imelda that if you treat Aquino nicely, we can dialogue.

Psinakis: Oh, that’s good news all right. That’s damn good news.

Aquino: Nakasone is willing to send a private envoy, a secret private envoy with a personal letter making a plea for me. If am still alive and in prison, that if they will treat me gently, and come up with some kind of an understanding, Japanese economic assistance will continue. Because they are very uptight that if the woman [Imelda] takes over and there will be chaos, you know, it would be bad. Now the ASEAN leaders, on the other hand, feel this way: ASEAN today is already one region. And any instability in one part of ASEAN will scare investors in the entire region.

That’s why they are very, very uptight about the possibility of chaos and instability in the Philippines with Imelda. And that is the background of my conversation with them: That I am not going to upset the apple cart but that we can harmonize our movement.

To what extent they will be able to mitigate the hardliners, I don’t know. That’s the chance we’ll have to take. If I survive Sunday, and I get to prison, I’m there in a week’s time, I can get the works going.

I’m picking up a letter from [MNLF chairman] Nur Misuari, telling them that if the government will trust me as a negotiator, then they can start talks again. But they will not talk to anybody else.

Psinakis: It sounds to me like you have an awful lot of pluses on your side.

Aquino: Those are the trump cards I’m bringing home, which of course can be negated if one character gets to throw me out.

If I get into prison, there is no doubt, like 100 percent, I will be brought directly to prison. I may not even get a chance to talk to anybody there on the ground. But it’s okay. A long as I’m alive and in prison, I can start using my trump cards.

I will try to hold out for a meeting with Marcos. Now that’s he’s about to meet his Maker, I am almost confident that I can talk to him and sell him something. Although the Cardinal told me that “if you think you can sell Marcos a bill of goods like return to democracy and electoral processes, forget it. You’re dreaming.”

“He’s no longer in that state.” This is the Cardinal’s idea. I don’t buy it. Because I don’t think that a man who is about to die will be, you know, too hard-headed.

Psinakis: I hope you are right, but I think the Cardinal is right. I think Marcos … not only because he doesn’t want to, that’s academic at this point in time. But I think he has just … he’s so deep and he has no choice but to stay where he is and leave things as they are. And I certainly hope that that’s wrong because we don’t want that.

Aquino: Okay. So, goodbye Steve.

Psinakis: One last question …

Aquino: Yes?

Psinakis: Any whatsoever … any indication from the US side that there might be some help on the cooperative or absolutely nothing?

Aquino: No. No indication. Except that they are watching me. They are following all my steps. But I am still hopeful that sanity will prevail and they will know that eventually, they’ll have to come to talk. Because I don’t think they’re very happy with the woman [Imelda] running the show

Ninoy Aquino: Hero or miscalculating ‘throne’ gamer? By Rigoberto D. Tiglao. December 5, 2016
http://www.manilatimes.net
NINOY AQUINO’s last recorded phone call before returning to Manila! (NinoyAquinoTV. http://www.youtube.com)

Sources:

Ninoy Aquino: Hero or Miscalculating ‘throne’ gamer? By Rigoberto D. Tiglao. The Manila Times (www.manilatimes.net)

http://www.kahimyang.com

http://www.youtube.com

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