Murder Mystery

I stand on the iron stairs leading from an air bridge to the tarmac of Manila airport. This is where Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. spent the last seconds of his life. The steep, paint-worn stairs shake under my 65 kilos. I imagine how they must have rocked when Aquino, wearing a bulletproof vest beneath an off-white leisure suit, was hustled down them by six soldiers on the afternoon of Aug. 21, 1983—and then fatally shot in the head.

The murder of the 50-year-old Aquino, who was returning from exile in Boston to challenge dictator Ferdinand Marcos, led to...

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