1971 Plaza Miranda bombing


1971 Plaza Miranda bombing

Infobox civilian attack
title = 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing


caption =
location = Plaza Miranda, Quiapo, Manila, Philippines
coordinates =
target = political campaign rally
date = August 21, 1971
time =
timezone = UTC +8
type = bombing
fatalities = 9
injuries = 95
perps =
susperps = Communist rebels
weapons = hand grenades
The 1971 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. [cite web | title =Partido Liberal Pilipinas: Timeline | url=http://www.liberalparty.ph/history/timeline.htm | accessdate = 2007-10-27] It caused the deaths of nine and injured 95 others. [cite web | last =Locsin, Jr. | first =Teodoro | title =Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Man of the Year, 1971 | url=http://philippinesfreepress.wordpress.com/2006/08/20/benigno-s-aquino-jr-man-of-the-year-1971/ | accessdate = 2007-10-27]

The bombing

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. [cite web | title =Death in the Plaza Miranda | url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,909933,00.html | accessdate = 2007-10-27] 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, Liberal Party president Gerardo Roxas and Sergio Osmeña, Jr., son of former President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Sergio Osmeña.

Aftermath

Culpability

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.cite news | last =Doronila | first =Amando | title =Politics of violence | publisher =Inquirer.net | date = 2007-08-24 | url =http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view_article.php?article_id=84405 | accessdate = 2007-10-27] Jovito Salonga, in his autobiography, states his belief that Sison and the CPP were responsible. [cite news | last =Dizon | first =David | title =Salonga's Journey |publisher = ABS-CBNNews.com | date = 2002-11-19 | url =http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/images/news/microsites/ondspot/JovitoSalonga11192002.htm | accessdate = 2007-10-27] Former New People's Army commander, now Armed Forces of the Philippines Major General Victor Corpus has also made statements revealing that Sison ordered the bombing of the political rally. [cite news | last =Soliven | first =Max | title =Revolution by Assassination? | publisher =Philippine Daily Star | date = 2004-02-12 | url =http://europeandesk.blogspot.com/2006/09/revolution-by-assassination-by-max.html | accessdate = 2007-10-27]

José María Sison continues to deny these claims, [cite web | last =Distor | first =Emere | title =The Left and Democratisation in the Philippines | url=http://cpcabrisbane.org/Kasama/2003/V17n2/Quimpo.htm | accessdate = 2007-10-27] and the CPP has never released any official confirmation of their culpability in the incident. [cite web | last =Nemenzo | first =Gemma | title =Note from the Underground | url=http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article3097 | accessdate = 2007-10-27]

Marcos, for his part, also blamed the communists; citing a communist plot to destabilize the government, he took the opportunity to seize emergency powers. He suspended the writ of habeas corpus [cite news | last = Simafrania | first =Eduardo D. | title =Commemorating Ninoy Aquino’s assassination | publisher = The Manila Times | date = 2006-08-21 | url =http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2006/aug/21/yehey/opinion/20060821opi6.html | accessdate = 2007-10-27] — a prelude to declaring Martial Law.

Injuries

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 leg.cite news | title =Binding Up the Wounds | publisher =Time Magazine | date = 1971-11-22 | url =http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,905539,00.html | accessdate = 2007-10-28]

Bearing on the election

In a setback for Marcos' ruling Nacionalista Party, the Liberals took six of the eight contested Senate seats, as well as the Manila mayoralty.

Commemoration

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. [cite web | title =GMA joins people in commemorating Plaza Miranda bombing | url=http://www.news.ops.gov.ph/archives2002/aug21.htm#GMA%20joins | accessdate = 2007-10-27]

ee also

*Assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr.
*Jovito Salonga

References


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