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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.”

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Secrets of the Plaza Miranda Bombing

In 1989, American journalist Gregg Jones published a book Red Revolution, which incontrovertibly showed that it was the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) that undertook August 21 1971 the bombing of the Liberal Party’s main electoral rally.

That was the vilest false-flag operation ever undertaken in this country. Even as Jones was largely sympathetic to the Communist insurgency, seeing it as a legitimate revolutionary movement against the dictatorship, his book had a chapter titled “Ghosts of Plaza Miranda.” There, he said the perpetrator was the CPP, as ordered by its chairman then Jose Ma. Sison. The book provided details on how the Plaza Miranda was planned and executed, the personalities involved, based on his interviews with officials at the Central Committee level.

Right after the grenades exploded at Plaza Miranda, August 21, 1971.
(From Jones’ book, attributed to Lopez Museum)
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Loren’s astounding naiveté is dangerous

FIFTY-THREE years since the Communist Party launched a conspiracy to topple our democratic government through force, killing over 14,000 of the Republic’s soldiers and police, I find it scandalous for a senator of the Republic to claim that this scourge of this land is merely fighting for social justice.

I am referring to Sen. Loren Legarda, who in a speech the other day in Congress, a prime symbol of democracy, also said, referring to the Reds: “Believing in policies and philosophies that may be left of center, so to speak, does not make anyone subversive.”

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We have no heroes: Reds and Yellows have debased our concept of ‘heroes’

TODAY is National Heroes’ Day. What is strange about this holiday, so important that the country gives up a full day of working, that workers paid daily suffer, is the law that ordered it. Commonwealth Act 3827 of Oct. 28, 1931 did not specify who were the heroes the day was celebrating. The Act consisted of only three sentences:

“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in legislature assembled and by the authority of the same:

“Section I: The last Sunday of August of every year is hereby declared as an official holiday to be known as the National Heroes Day.

“Section II: This Act shall take effect upon its approval.”

Succeeding laws merely reaffirmed its date of celebration. However, we owe our being able to sleep late today to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, an economist by training and very practical-minded, who moved it to the first Monday of August, so we’ll have a long weekend, which she thought would be a boost to local tourism.

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Why Ateneo has gone to the dogs intellectually

I CHANCED upon a Facebook post that helped me understand why the Ateneo de Manila, one of my alma maters, has become so Yellow, so rabidly anti-Marcos that it has gone to the dogs, intellectually as well as politically. This was a post by Dr. Christina Astorga, considered one of the leading academics of Ateneo, having served as chairman of its theology department from 1994 to 2003.

Her post and curriculum vitae reveal that despite her being an academic supposedly trained to rely on data for her claims, she hasn’t researched on a single aspect of the Marcos’ martial law regime. Her views on the martial law years are based entirely on the website Rappler, the Philippine Star and the Philippine Daily Inquirer, certified propaganda venues of the Yellows. Kudos to Rappler for being able to brainwash academics.

Well, if Ateneo’s academic leaders are such biased persons who rely not on data but on biased media, then what would you expect of its faculty and students?

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A billion pesos worth of sugar hoarded

“DISPOSE for markets to sell at P70 per kilogram, or we’ll see you in court.”

Mobilizing several different agencies, the Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. administration has raided and found in several warehouses mainly in the National Capital Region and a few other provinces 401,000 50-kg bags of sugar. If half of these were raw sugar (P3,200 per bag) and half refined (P4,500), this hoarded sugar would be worth P821 million.

The figure would likely pass P1 billion when reports after “inspections” in other warehouses in the Visayas come in, government officials said.

The raids were undertaken, jointly and separately, by the Bureau of Customs, using its visitorial powers on warehouses keeping imported commodities, aided by the National Bureau of Investigation, the military’s intelligence service, and even the Presidential Security Group.

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This is a hero?

Aug. 21, 1983: Fatal miscalculation? PUBLIC DOMAIN PHOTO

DID Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. risk his life to liberate the country from a dictatorship or did he mainly see it as an opportunity to succeed Ferdinand E. Marcos, well worth the risk of returning to Manila?

His candid conversation on Aug. 13, 1983 with his close friend, the late Steve Psinakis — the husband of Presentacion Lopez, the only daughter of the “Don” Eugenio Lopez Sr. — would seem to point to the latter motivation.

In Ninoy’s last interview with foreign correspondents inside the plane in the wee hours of Aug. 21, 1983, he portrays himself as the opposition leader who decided to return to the Philippines, as he put it, “to help the opposition rebuild its grassroots organization” for the 1984 Batasang Pambansa elections. Ninoy says: “I no longer crave for political office. I would like to reiterate: I am not out to overthrow Marcos.”

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SRA issue shows Marcos should appoint ASAP full-time agri sec

WHEN President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. announced even before he assumed the presidency last June 30 that he would not appoint an Agriculture department secretary and instead assume that portfolio himself, I immediately expressed serious doubts in my column whether this was a wise decision.

I pointed out that while it sends a message that his administration would make agriculture a priority, in actual practice, it really means his holding two jobs, with both the presidency and the agricultural department being led by a part-time official, and therefore their performance compromised.

In fact, in the post-war period, only two presidents have headed a department, and this was only the defense portfolio, I suspect, because they wanted to make sure the military was solidly behind them. President Marcos Sr. assumed the defense post when he became president on Dec. 31, 1965. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo became Defense secretary for a month in 2003 and two months to Feb. 1, 2007.

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ES Rodriguez: We asked SRA to justify imports; they couldn’t

‘Sugar Order was not approved by Marcos’

EXECUTIVE Secretary Victor Rodriguez said yesterday that he had asked the board of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to justify their plan to import 300,000 MT of sugar. “They couldn’t, and without the President’s approval went ahead to issue Sugar Order No. 4 that would have authorized accredited traders to import that huge amount of sugar,” Rodriguez said.

The executive secretary spoke with me yesterday over the phone after I texted him a set of questions, asking him to comment on reports that it was he who had prodded the SRA, mainly through the Agriculture department’s undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian, to issue the sugar order.

“Sebastian didn’t even inform the President or me that the Sugar Board will meet to approve that importation,” Rodriguez said. “We found out about it only when my staff reported that the SRA posted the order on its website.”

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Marcos govt faces first serious controversy, over sugar imports

LESS than two months in power, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s administration faces its first crisis that could dent the public’s confidence in his capability to lead.

At best, the issue reveals a chaotic, amateurish Malacañang bureaucracy — where officials are elbowing each other, as an insider described it in Filipino (nagbabalyahan).

At worst, it points to corruption at the highest levels since the issue, whether to import sugar or not, involves the opposing interests of elite groups — sugar planters who hate imports because they bring their prices down vs food and beverage manufacturers, whose margins increase with lower prices for the sweetener. None of these elites are beyond offering bribes for government to go their way, with their industries set to lose or make billions of pesos depending on the regulatory body’s decision.

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