Advertisement

Voice expert reveals new information on Aquino killing

By ANTONIO KAMIYA

TOKYO -- A Japanese voice expert said Saturday a Philippine security commander shouted 'shoot him' at Manila Airport at the time opposition leader Benigno Aquino was killed but it wasn't clear who was supposed to be shot.

Matsumi Suzuki, an acoustic expert who examined voice recordings of the assassination scene, said he heard the word 'pusila' -- which means 'shoot him' in a central Philippine dialect.

Advertisement

But it wasn't clear if the order was shouted in reference to Aquino or to the killing seconds later by military guards of Rolando Galman, the man the government says was hired to kill Aquino.

'There is no way for me to tell,' Suzuki told a news conference.

Aquino was killed last Aug. 21 at Manila International Airport as he stepped off a plane after three years in the United States. Opposition leaders and Aquino's family say the military had a hand in his murder.

Suzuki said the person who said 'pusila' matches 'the sound record' of Lt. Jesus de Castro, commander of the security team that escorted Aquino off the China Air Lines flight.

Suzuki said de Castro also said 'etona' -- meaning 'here he comes' -- about a second before he uttered 'pusila,' the first of two similar voice patterns picked up from television footage recorded by two television crews.

Advertisement

Suzuki, a recognized voice expert who runs a private acoustic laboratory, said he discovered the identity of the voice Friday through a recording of de Castro's voice made available by a Japanese news magazine.

Suzuki was interviewed in Tokyo last week by the official commission probing the Aquino slaying but he said he couldn't undertake a similar analysis for the panel because Japan had not received authorization from the Philippine government.

'I'll do an analysis for (the commission) if they come to me again,' he said.

The fact-finding mission headed by Chairwoman Corazon Agrava returned to Manila on Friday after a 12-day visit to Tokyo, where it also heard testimony from two Japanese journalists who were aboard the plane with Aquino.

Latest Headlines