The 32nd death anniversary of the late former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. will be commemorated this August 21. It is a non-working holiday nationwide as stipulated in Republic Act (RA) 9256, which then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed in 2004. Access RA 9256 in this link.
Ninoy’s only son, President Benigno Aquino III, referenced this law in Proclamation 831, which listed all the regular and special holidays for 2015. Read more about Proclamation 831 through this post from July 2014. August 21 this year falls on a Friday, which in effect gives most students and employees a three-day weekend.
The next holiday will be the National Heroes Day, which will be observed on August 31. Since it falls on Monday, then it will be another long weekend for most Filipinos.
The context of RA 9256 illustrate the good-turned-antagonistic relationship between the Aquinos and Arroyos. Arroyo signed the law on February 25, 2004, the anniversary of the culmination of the 1986 People Power Revolt. At that time, Arroyo is running for a fresh six-year term as president.
Although Ninoy’s widow, former President Corazon Aquino, opted to remain neutral in the race, his son, then-Tarlac Rep. Noynoy Aquino and daughter Kris Aquino went all-in for Arroyo.
Things went south however when the so-called “Hello Garci” cheating scandal erupted. Aquino personally asked Arroyo to resign over the controversy. She went on national television to reiterate that call July 8 2005, the same day that ten of Arroyo’s senior cabinet members asked her to do the same. Since then and until her death, the two leaders never spoke again.