Aida D. Fariscal (1940? - ) is a former policewoman and watch commander in the Manila Police Department in the Philippines. She is now a retired grandmother living on pension in a one bedroom apartment.
Fariscal spent seventeen years as a homemaker before enrolling in the police department in 1977. The widow of a slain police officer, she rose through the ranks of the Manila Police Department, and in 1983 won an award for arresting three murder suspects on Mindoro Island.
On the night of January 6, 1995, she was suspicious about a small fire that went out unassisted at the Doņa Josefa Apartments; her suspicions were augmented by a wave of bombings that hit Metro Manila, and Philippine Airlines Flight 434. This led her to uncover a terrorist plot made by alleged Al-Qaida agents named Operation Bojinka.
She came to the apartment with a partner, looked around, and left after a telephone rang. She had to ask 11 judges to find one that would grant her a search warrant. She, along with a group of investigators and police then uncovered evidence, before arresting a suspect who called himself Ahmed Saeed.
She refused to let go of a suspect, who turned out to be Abdul Hakim Murad, after he offered her 110,740 Philippine pesos ($2,000 U.S. dollars).
Her decision to investigate the fire saved thousands of lives, including that of Pope John Paul II. She received a monetary award of the equivalent of 33,222 pesos ($700) and a trip to Taiwan from the government. She also won a laminated award from the CIA for her action. The certificate reads, "Awarded to Senior Inspector Aida D. Fariscal, in recognition of your personal outstanding efforts and co-operation."
After she foiled the plot, the Philippine police assigned her two bodyguards for five years. The bodyguard service ended shortly before September 11.
When the incident occurred, it was nighttime in the Philippines. As she was going to bed, a colleague yelled "Quick, turn on your television." Upon seeing the footage, she said "Oh my God, Bojinka." "How it could have been allowed to happen," she later said. "I can't get those images," refferring to the videos of the incident, "out of my mind."
She later told someone, "It's so chilling. Those kamikaze pilots trained in America, just like Murad. This should have never, ever been allowed to happen."
She feels upset that she wasn't able to save the victims of the September 11th Terrorist Attacks. The September 11 plot was made from elements of Operation Bojinka. She also felt as if the higher-up generals hogged the spotlight for the end of Operation Bojinka.
Her name is largely unknown outside of the Philippines.