“Here are more examples.”
The Plaza Miranda Hoax
The bombing of the Liberal Party Grand Rally at Plaza Miranda on August 21, 1971 was initially blamed on Marcos, but as later found out to be ordered by Jose Maria Sison himself, and carried out by Communist Armed City Partisans who detonated two hand grenades at LP grand political, killing nine persons and seriously wounding more than 100 others, including the late Senator Jovy Salonga and Congressman Lito Atienza.
Interestingly, Salonga, in his book, expressed suspicion as to why Ninoy Aquino was absent from such an important rally even as he, Ninoy, was supposed to be the star of the LP.
The PMB is a complete antithesis to Sison’s Protracted People’s War or PPW, the very heart and soul of his call for a National Democratic Revolution. While it would seem at first glance, Sison is fixated on winning the revolution through his PPW as can be gleaned from his criticisms against the Kinalburong Tagumpay of the old Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas or the PKP, and even the new Party’s Metro Manila – Rizal Regional Party Command’s attempt to bring the armed struggle to urban areas, particularly in Metro Manila in the late 80s (This as one of the issues raised in the so-called Second Great Rectification Movement or Ang Ikalawang Dakilang Kilusang Pagwawasto in the early 90s, the PMB will disprove this as it was conceptualized with the primary objective of expediting the revolution.
According to four former ranking party officials, chairman Sison had become convinced by early 1971— less than three years after the party was founded—that it would take only a well-timed incident to spark a great upheaval leading to an early Communist victory.
In a meeting held in February 1971, Sison presented the idea of the PMB which he claimed would trigger a revolutionary situation. The plan calls for the hurling of two grenades in Miting de Avance of the Liberal Party which he anticipated to be held sometime in the third quarter of the year.
While many articles including books have been written to expose the real culprits behind PMB, many still regard them as plain chismis or gossip, having failed to come up with names of actual people who have participated or who have first-hand knowledge on the matter.
In the same interview, Ka Jun Jimenez said that aside from Sison, there are at least three individuals who were involved in the planning of the Plaza Miranda bombing and in the execution of the bomb-thrower – Danny Cordero – who are still living.
Ka Jun said the other involved were Mariano Laxa, whose whereabouts is unknown; Herminigildo Garcia who is now based in Canada with his wife, Mila Astorga Garcia; and, Herminio Espirito, who was known before by his nom de guerre Ruth Firmeza when he was still with the NPA Northern Luzon Command.
Now based in the USA living under an assumed name “Art Garcia,” a former member of the CPP Politburo who was killed in an encounter in Capas, Tarlac in 1969, Espiritu is now the secretary of CPP USA and North Hemisphere branch, according to Ka Jun.
Ka Jun furthers that Espiritu was a member of the nine-man committee which sentenced Cordero, who threw the grenade in Plaza Miranda, to death.
Here, Ka Jun recalls the chronology of events leading to PMB and the arms landing.
1. Ibarra Tubianosa and Sison led the 10-man CPP secret delegation who went to China in July 1971 to negotiate with a high-ranking official of the Chinese Communist Party, Kang Sheng, trusted lieutenant of Deng Xiaoping, for the smuggling of firearms to the Philippines. The group was provided a mission house in Beijing by the Chinese Communist Party Leaders
The plan was to smuggle the war materials from China via Macau;
2. At about the same time, Danny Cordero, a recruit from Kabataang Makabayan in Caloocan and who was newly-promoted as member of the Manila-Rizal Party Committee, was given the task of throwing the grenades at the LP event in Plaza Miranda;
3. On the night of August 21, 1971, while Cordero and two others, Bob Paquiz and Cecil Apostol, Sison met with Reuben Guevarra, Manuel Collantes, and Herminigildo Garcia in a party safehouse in Parañaque and bared during the meeting that the bombing would take place that night;
4. August 21, 1971 9:10 p.m. – Just minutes after Sison’s meeting, three grenades were hurled in the LP event in Plaza Miranda though only two detonated. The bombing instantly killed a press photographer, two children, and six others, while injuring more than 100 individuals;
5. After the bombing, Cordero, Apostol, and another KM activist, a certain Dany, were immediately brought to Isabela Province to join the NPA forces there.
6. Eleven months after the Plaza Miranda Bombing, M/V Karagatan, carrying around 1,200 high-powered rifles such as the US-made M-14, landed in Palanan, Isabela.
The shipment was later intercepted by government forces;
7. At that time, Cordero, apparently lost on the direction of the revolution, not having been briefed on CPP/NPA plans after the PMB and M/V Karagatan incident, started spewing his participation in the PMB to other Party members, resulting to him being charged with rebellion by the Party hierarchy;
8. Reuben Guevarra formed a nine-man military tribunal which tried Cordero. Among the members of the tribunal were Herminio Espiritu aka Ruth Firmeza and Ariel Almendral who served as Cordero’s counsel;
9. By a vote of 6 – 3, Cordero was meted out the death sentence. The sentence was carried out by Elizabeth Principe who shot him at the back of the head.
After two years, the CPP again tried to smuggle arms to the Philippines. However, M/V Doña Aurora, which was supposed to ship the arms, encountered mechanical problems and was stranded in Pratas Island near Hainan, China.
(To be continued)