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The Significance of Two August 21st Incidents in Philippine History

by FQSN-USA Monday, Aug. 21, 2006 at 11:22 AM
magsasakapil@hotmail.com 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

Like the rising number of political killings, the August 21, 1983 Aquino assassination remains unsolved. Despite the court findings which sent several military men involved in Aquino’s murder to jail, the people still believe that the real masterminds are still scot-free, and are still in the limelight, and are enjoying their loot in their unperturbed ostentatious style. As we join our voice with all of those who work for a just and lasting peace and fight for justice, the FQSN-USA remembers these historical incidents to remind the Filipino community in the United States that we still face the enemies of the people responsible for these crimes. It is our duty not to let them go unpunished. We will never forget. We will continue to struggle against political amnesia and always uphold the truth.

The Significance of Two August 21st Incidents in Philippine Hist

by Gullermo Ponce de Leon, FQSN-AJLPP Monday, Aug. 21, 2006 at 2:36 AM

guimoponcedeleon@hotmail.com 415-573-5304



FIRST QUARTER STORM NETWORK (FQSN) – U.S.A.

Member of the Alliance for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines (AJLPP)

PRESS STATEMENT

August 20, 2006

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TWO AUGUST 21ST INCIDENTS IN PHILIPPINE HISTORY

On August 21, 1971, the then President Ferdinand E. Marcos ordered his minions to bomb the “miting de avance” of the Liberal Party (LP) in Plaza Miranda, Quiapo, Manila in an attempt to decimate the senatorial line-up and the national leadership of the Liberal Party then led by Senator Gerardo Roxas and then blame the Communists for his Hitlerian political maneuvers and schemes.

Marcos made ready his presidential proclamation and announced it that night of August 21, 1971, suspending the writ of habeas corpus, and started a series of mass arrests of progressive mass leaders in order to paralyze the opposition and the resurgent national-democratic movement. But the people frustrated the Marcosian scheme. An even broader mass movement responded to Marcos’ writ suspension, forcing him to withdraw momentarily.

Eventually, however, Marcos had his way to prolong his stay in Malacañang by imposing one-man rule over the country. He deviously orchestrated a series of other “terrorist” bombings which he then blamed on a “Leftist-Rightist conspiracy” and declared martial law ostensibly “to save the Republic and build a new society” a year later on September 21, 1972.

Years later in the twilight of the US-Marcos dictatorship on August 21, 1983, Marcos’ henchmen assassinated Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., the Liberal Party leader who escaped harm in the Plaza Miranda bombing, shortly after he arrived in the Manila International Airport. Ninoy Aquino was Marcos’ chief elite rival who was viewed as someone who would be able to lead and rally the forces of the people in opposition to his increasingly beleaguered dictatorship.

Aquino’s brutal assassination in face of prominent world media coverage did not terrorize the people into submission. Instead, it subsequently sparked a national firestorm of protest for the next two and a half years which later climaxed in a people power uprising and a military mutiny that eventually toppled the much-reviled fascist dictatorship.

The two August 21 incidents are indelibly etched in the memory of many Filipinos. We, in the First Quarter Storm Network (FQSN), remember these days of infamy in the hope that the important lessons are not lost and forgotten and serve to instruct the present-day generation of our people in confronting the current ruling clique in power, the US-Arroyo regime. For we note that there are attempts to distort this history and, in the process, exonerate the evildoers.

The FQSN takes this opportunity to condemn the continuing attempts of US psy-war experts and spin-doctors of the US-Arroyo regime to rewrite history and frame Prof. Maria Sison as the “mastermind” of the August 21, 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing. We denounce the US-Arroyo regime’s cynical attempts to discredit Prof. Sison, who serves as the peace consultant of the National Democratic Front (NDF), and to implicate the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) as having perpetrated the bombing that Marcos masterminded.

Several congressional hearings and court decisions and the Department of Justice (DoJ) itself during the term of General Fidel Ramos have long cleared Prof. Sison and the CPP/NPA of these false malicious charges. These machinations, like the inclusion of Sison, the CPP and the NPA in the so-called “terrorist listings” of the US and its allies, merely give Arroyo and her fascist cabal an “excuse” – a lame one at that – to scuttle the peace process between the Manila government and the revolutionary movement. Furthermore, they call attention away from the fact that it is Arroyo’s hands that are ones dripping with the fresh blood of newly slain political opponents.

Truth be told, Prof. Joma Sison is among the victims of the Marcos fascist dictatorship. Not only did Joma Sison lose his brother to “salvaging” in the hands of Marcos henchmen, he himself endured torture and solitary confinement for nine years. Along with at least 10,000 claimants, despite clear court judgments against the Marcoses, Sison and all human rights victims of the Marcos era have, to date, not received a single penny of compensation from the estate of the late dictator.

In the meantime, the Arroyo and her militarist gang are on a murderous anti-communist crusade of political assassinations and other heinous acts of terrorism in the name of and in line with Bush’s “war on terror.” Arroyo’s war of terror against the people has made the Philippines the second most murderous place on earth for journalists after Iraq, and the second for trade unionists after Colombia. Her thugs have killed more than 720 leaders and activists of the open mass movement in the last five years.

Despite the growing chorus of voices internationally against her regime – voices which include Amnesty International (AI) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and many world church leaders, Gloria Arroyo -- the real mastermind behind the spate of political killings -- not surprisingly has only feigned hypocritical concern but has not allowed any process of impartial investigation into these killings which are alarmingly still on the rise. The truth remains that not a single killing has been solved, not a single murderer punished for their crimes.

Like the rising number of political killings, the August 21, 1983 Aquino assassination remains unsolved. Despite the court findings which sent several military men involved in Aquino’s murder to jail, the people still believe that the real masterminds are still scot-free, and are still in the limelight, and are enjoying their loot in their unperturbed ostentatious style.

As we join our voice with all of those who work for a just and lasting peace and fight for justice, the FQSN-USA remembers these historical incidents to remind the Filipino community in the United States that we still face the enemies of the people responsible for these crimes. It is our duty not to let them go unpunished. We will never forget. We will continue to struggle against political amnesia and always uphold the truth.

JUSTICE FOR ALL VICTIMS OF STATE TERRORISM FROM TIME OF MARCOS TO ARROYO!

OUST THE U.S.-ARROYO REGIME! #

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