Plaza Miranda bombing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing)
Jump to: navigation, search
Plaza Miranda bombing
PlazaMiranda.JPG
A still from a documentary showing Liberal Party members onstage at the Plaza Miranda, moments before the bombing.
Location Plaza Miranda, Quiapo, Manila, Philippines
Date August 21, 1971 (UTC +8)
Target political campaign rally
Attack type
bombing
Weapons hand grenades
Deaths 9
Non-fatal injuries
95
Suspected perpetrators
Communist rebels
Photo taken before the grenades exploded shows Mel Lopez speaking, while party stalwarts Gerardo Roxas, Ramon Bagatsing, Sergio Osmena Jr., and Jovito Salonga look on seated, waiting for their turn to speak.

The Plaza Miranda bombing occurred during a political campaign rally of the Liberal Party at Plaza Miranda in the district of Quiapo, Manila in the Philippines on August 21, 1971.[1] It caused nine deaths and injured 95 others, including many prominent Liberal Party politicians.[2]

The bombing[edit]

The Liberal Party's campaign rally was held to proclaim the candidacies of eight Senatorial bets as well as the candidate for the Mayoralty race in Manila. As a crowd of about 4,000 gathered to hear speeches, two hand grenades were reportedly tossed on stage.[3] Among those killed instantly were a 5-year-old child and The Manila Times photographer Ben Roxas. Almost everyone on stage was injured, including incumbent Senator Jovito Salonga, Senator Eddie Ilarde, Senator Eva Estrada-Kalaw, Liberal Party president Gerardo Roxas, Sergio Osmeña, Jr., son of former President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Sergio Osmeña, Atty. Martin B. Isidro Councilor, Vice Mayor and Congressman for the City of Manila, and Ramon Bagatsing, the party's Mayoral Candidate for the City of Manila.

Aftermath[edit]

Culpability[edit]

Suspicion of responsibility for the blast initially fell upon incumbent President Ferdinand Marcos, whom the Liberals blamed for the bombing; however, in later years, prominent personalities associated with the event have laid the blame on the Communist Party of the Philippines under José María Sison.[4] Jovito Salonga, in his autobiography, states his belief that Sison and the CPP were responsible.[5] Former New People's Army commander, retired Armed Forces of the Philippines Brig. General Victor Corpus has also made statements revealing that Sison ordered the bombing of the political rally.[6] Corpus wrote in the autobiographical prologue to his 1989 book Silent War that he was present when some leaders of the CPP discussed the bombing after it took place.[7] In a 2004 interview with journalist Max Soliven, Corpus affirmed that Sison (spoken of specifically, by name) dispatched the cadre who attacked the meeting with a hand-grenade.[6]

José María Sison continues to deny these claims,[8] and the CPP has never released any official confirmation of their culpability in the incident.[9]

Marcos, for his part, also blamed the communists. Citing a communist plot to destabilize the government, he assumed emergency powers and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus[10] — a prelude to declaring Martial Law.

Injuries[edit]

Jovito Salonga was among those most seriously injured. The blast left him blind in one eye and deaf in one ear. Small pieces of shrapnel are still lodged in his body. Ramon Bagatsing, the Liberal Party mayoralty candidate for Manila, lost his left leg and suffered a crushed right cheek bone and a shattered right arm.[11]

Bearing on the election[edit]

In a setback for Marcos' ruling Nacionalista Party, the Liberals took six of the eight contested Senate seats, as well as the Manila mayoralty with then Congressman Ramon Bagatsing defeating the incumbent Antonio Villegas for the mayorship of the country's premiere city.[11]

Commemoration[edit]

On August 21, 2002, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo unveiled a commemorative marker in Plaza Miranda in honor of the nine innocent civilians killed in the blast.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Partido Liberal Pilipinas: Timeline". Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  2. ^ Locsin, Jr., Teodoro. "Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Man of the Year, 1971". Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  3. ^ "Death in the Plaza Miranda". Time. 1971-08-30. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  4. ^ Doronila, Amando (2007-08-24). "Politics of violence". Inquirer.net. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  5. ^ Dizon, David (2002-11-19). "Salonga's Journey". ABS-CBNNews.com. Archived from the original on 2007-07-01. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  6. ^ a b Soliven, Max (2004-02-12). "Revolution by Assassination?". Philippine Daily Star. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  7. ^ Victor N. Corpus (1989). Silent war. VNC Enterprises. p. 13. ISBN 978-971-91158-0-9. 
  8. ^ Distor, Emere. "The Left and Democratisation in the Philippines". Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  9. ^ Nemenzo, Gemma. "Note from the Underground". Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  10. ^ Simafrania, Eduardo D. (2006-08-21). "Commemorating Ninoy Aquino’s assassination". The Manila Times. Archived from the original on 2007-10-18. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  11. ^ a b "Binding Up the Wounds". Time Magazine. 1971-11-22. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  12. ^ "GMA joins people in commemorating Plaza Miranda bombing". Retrieved 2007-10-27.