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Historians must confront the Plaza Miranda bombing

HISTORIANS, especially those of the Yellow persuasion currently monopolizing the martial law discourse at the UP, Ateneo and UST, must investigate the claim — for me, a fact without an iota of doubt — that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) was responsible for the Aug. 21, 1971 bombing of the opposition rally at Plaza Miranda.

They cannot bury their heads in the sand, or cover their eyes, and pretend that the CPP had nothing to do with it.

Nor can they claim it was an insignificant event in our political history. It was intended by its architect, the CPP chairman at that time, Jose Ma. Sison, as he had explained, “split the ruling classes” so they would fight each other to cause a “revolutionary flow.”

“It was the most shocking political crime the country had ever seen, an act that could be described as the Philippine equivalent of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy,” the American author Gregg Jones wrote in his book Red Revolution whose chapter “Ghosts of Plaza Miranda” narrated the details of who and how the bombing was undertaken.

To the credit of Sison’s devilish, immoral mind, the Plaza Miranda bombing indeed turned out to be the singular event that convinced President Marcos to impose martial law and for most the ruling elite to support him, concluding that the CPP are no amateurs and are so ruthless as to execute such a crime. But he stuck too long in power — or couldn’t dismount the tiger safely — that the global debt crisis that broke out in 1983 empowered the opposition to topple him.


Without facing the reality of the Plaza Miranda bombing, one cannot understand what led to martial law, just as without knowing the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, one cannot understand how the most civilized nations on earth easily slipped into a war that killed millions of human beings.

I know of no historian who has investigated the Plaza Miranda bombing, nor reasserted that Marcos was responsible for it. Our historians will be betraying their profession if they don’t even attempt to arrive at the truth of this seminal event in Philippine history.

I realize though why our historians are afraid to investigate who really was responsible for the Plaza Miranda bombing. They are afraid that if they find, as I have, that it is an uncontestable fact that Sison and his CPP were responsible for that crime, their entire narrative of Marcos-as-devil-incarnate would collapse.

The Liberal Party after 1986 was one of the most powerful parties in the country. Yet it didn’t move a finger to investigate the Plaza Miranda bombing, or even the Aquino assassination. This is despite the fact, and even after one of their most respected leaders, Sen. Jovito Salonga, who lost an eye and had his hand mutilated by the grenade explosion, stated in his biography that he was convinced it was the CPP that was responsible. Why didn’t they investigate in the 30 years that they were in power?


If it was the CPP that was the criminal in the Plaza Miranda bombing, what other crime blamed on Marcos, invented by a powerful Yellow media, might he be innocent of too?

Indeed, I have proven (mainly with a detailed transcript of Congress records) that the so-called Jabidah (Corregidor) Massacre never occurred, and was intended by opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Jr. as his clever way of alerting the Malaysians that Marcos was undertaking a plan to rouse Muslims in Sabah into rebelling and affiliating with the Philippines.

I have also proven that the so-called Malisbong (Palimbang) massacre of Muslims in 1974 never occurred. It was instead concocted by the secessionist Moro National Liberation Front to counter their brutal killing of 15 loggers, and convince oil-rich Arab counties that the Marcos regime was on a path of genocide against Muslims. This alleged massacre was resuscitated only in 2016 to take advantage of a law passed during the Aquino 3rd regime to give compensation to the relatives of those supposedly killed, and indeed it was a scam, with the gullible Human Rights Victims Claims Board awarding P25 million to about 130 Muslims who claimed it was their relatives who were killed.

I especially challenge the nine who got 1,000 alleged scholars to sign the pompously titled “Manifesto In Defense of Historical Truth” last May that “pledged to combat all attempts at historical revisionism that distort and falsify history to suit the Marcoses.”*


Call it historical revisionism, but more and more people, and information, have disproved the Yellow dogma that Marcos undertook the Plaza Miranda bombing. Instead, it was the CPP that did it. I challenge you to disprove what after all is one of the most important events in Philippine history. I’ll be most willing to communicate with you to convince you of this truth.

Indeed so intellectually dishonest (or cowardly) is the fact that several of the signatories to the “Manifesto” were leftists at UP who knew since the 1980s that it was the CPP that was responsible for the crime. Yet they never did their job as scholars to investigate this and to write about these. Gutless.

I particularly challenge Ambeth Ocampo and my colleague in this paper, Michael “Xiao” Chua — since they are historians by profession — to use their research skills to get to the bottom of who really was responsible for the Plaza Miranda bombing. Indeed, the truth of the bombing is more important to us as a nation than what kind of bolo Bonifacio had or whether or not the idea of a barangay is a historical error. This important sector of the academe — the historians — will be betraying their profession if they don’t do anything to determine the truth of Plaza Miranda.

I challenge even the CPP to admit and denounce the bombing, as the fiery workers’ leader Filemon “Popoy” Lagman in 2000 threatened to do — and was assassinated. If their leaders claim that history is on their side, they should be confident enough to declare that the bombing was an error, that it betrayed the revolutionary dogma that it is the masses that determine history, not Machiavellian plots. After all, out of the seven politburo members who planned and executed it, only Sison remains in the party, with four having died years ago and two having left it long ago and are living comfortable lives abroad.

*The “initiators” of this Manifesto were Oscar Campomanes, Nicole CuUnjieng, Francis Gealogo Ramon Guillermo, Caroline Hau, Jayson Lamchek, Vina Lanzona, Carlos Piocos 3rd and Lulu Torres Reyes. So what combating have you done so far against historical revisionism?

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Dorina Rojas

    Those who are afraid to face the truth are cowards and liars. For us who know the truth, lies will remain lies even if everybody believes them. Truth will remain truth even if nobody believes them. Only the courageous and the honest can confront the Plaza Miranda bombing.

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