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Decimating party mates

RRoy’siPadDecimating party mates
Ronald Roy — March 12, 2016

In 1971, Dad and I were watching on television the Liberal Party’s miting de avance when, at around 10:00 pm, the makeshift stage bearing countless members of the Party’s hierarchy suddenly collapsed after a pair of explosions. Through the smoke-filled air, we saw chairs and bodies strewn about, and heard nothing but the invocation of God’s name along with screams and groans

Within twenty minutes, we were at the hospital bedside of Dad’s colleague, Sen. Jovito Salonga, whose bloody head and hands were so bandaged up he looked like a severely wounded soldier just wheeled in from a war zone. He strugglingly whispered in Tagalog, “Come closer, Ka Pepe, I want you to hear this: Ninoy (Aquino) had something to do with these explosions that were intended to decimate us”. Dad quickly hushed him down so he could rest, and we heard nothing more from him.

After the lapse of time, there followed rumors about Sen. Ninoy Aquino’s involvement in an alleged mass assassination plot, insinuating that the Plaza Miranda carnage had been hatched up by the communists and himself, so that he would become the only available candidate to challenge Marcos for the presidency. [I have written about this matter in much greater detail; please log on to my web site.]

Sen. Salonga would eventually make public his long-held secret. I saw him on TV brandishing a red book, saying, “Mga kababayan, naririto sa librong ito ang mga pangalan ng mga utak ng Plaza Miranda bombing!” (My countrymen, you’ll find in this book the names of the brains behind the Plaza Miranda bombing.) The afternoon the following day, I hurried off to three bookstores only to be told uniformly that “all copies of the book had been ordered recalled.”

Salonga would eventually be appointed by Pres. Corazon C. Aquino as the first Chair of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, And the communists would likewise own up to the bombing as their handiwork.

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