Posted by: filamgroup1 | November 30, 2009

‘Til Death Do Us Apart

The history of the Philippines was completely immersed in violent situations. Countless assassination attempts occurred between the span of 15 years from 1860-1875. These targets ranged from political leaders such as Congressman Crisologo to the First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos. Philippine congressman Crisologo was a World War 2 veteran who worked as a congressman for the conformation of the Tobacco Law and the establishment of the social security system. His wife also served in a political position as former governor Ilocos Sur and his son Vincent is a congressman in Quezon City. On October 18, 1970, an assassination took place at the Vigan Cathedral when lone gunman shot him directly in the head. The assassin was able to get away amidst the commotion of people hearing the gun shot. To this day, the mystery was never solved and to preserve the memory of the events that took place on that day, the Crisologo family turned their own estate into a museum for others to learn about. This museum contained memorabilia that were particularly linked with the assassination. Another assassination that drew heavy media was the assassination of Benigno Aquino. After surviving a heart-bypass surgery, he was killed on his return trip to the Philippines in 1983. But not all assassination attempts were out for blood. Some “hit lists” were designed to justify public agendas.

Juan Ponce Enrile was the Secretary of National Defense at the time of his fraudulent assassination attempt. On September 21, 1972, the assassination was created to justify the reason behind declaring Martial Law. Years later, Enrile would admit to the fraud and turn his back on Marcos to be a co-leader in a citizen revolt known as the People Power Movement. The reason behind this was probably on the instinct of survival because he could clearly see what aligning himself with Marcos would do to his life.

Finally we have the First Lady Imelda Marcos herself. On December 7, 1972, an attempted murder took place live during an award ceremony broadcasted live on the television. The assailant, Carlito Dimahilig attempted to stab Imelda with a bolo knife. Many believed that this was staged because the facts just don’t add up. How would the assailant fail at stabbing Imelda? The probability of the assassin missing his unexpected target was very slim. Also, the assassination seemed to have happened in the same year as the declaration of Martial Law which further implicates the issue of the assassination being staged. Imelda Marcos was a very gallant and shallow leader. Her survival of the assassination allowed her to improve the physical outlook of the Philippines but internally, things were pretty much the same. -BQ

Posted by: filamgroup1 | November 30, 2009

The Law that Started it All

President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law in 1972 in attempt to silence his adversaries and establish a solid threshold of political power. Under Ferdinand Marcos, the military arrested thousands of opposition figures including Benigno Aquino, journalists, student and labor activists, and more. Also, the right to bear firearms was taken away thus private armies connected with powerful political figures were broken up. Furthermore, the threat of government insurgents would decrease because of the difficulty of finding arms within the enforcement of the government.

The newspaper was shut down and the media was tightly controlled. As a direct result, opposition to the government regime was silenced and organization to go against the law was made difficult. A curfew was placed into effect between 12:00A.M. and 4:00 A.M. Crime rates plummeted in result to the curfew and Marcos was able to stay in power past his two terms of service by manipulating and replacing the rules of the 1935 constitution. The economy during the 1970s experienced trade surpluses. The Gross National Product increased by well over 300 percent in the span of 10 years. Tourism increased and helped contribute to the economy. But thanks to the corruption of the Marcos regime, the economy suffered. With a wave of Marcos’s pen, he had the power to do anything he wanted. Many presidential decrees were not even published.

The reasoning behind President Ferdinand Marcos’s declaration of Martial Law had roots stemming from the first three months of 1970 when the First Quarter Storm occurred. Thousands of youths and students covered the streets of Manila protesting the high tuition fees, non-existent employment opportunities, low wages, and other social problems that plagued the nation of the Philippines under President Ferdinand Marcos. The First Quarter Storm was headed by Adrian Aquino from Ateneo de Manila University. Government military officers responded to the protests by using arms and tear gas to get things under control. Along with the First Quarter Storm, rising waves of lawlessness and the increased threat of the newly formed Communist group, the New People’s Army created an atmosphere of political unrest. Also, the constant fighting for independence in the province of Mindanao from the Muslim group Moro National Liberation Front added fuel to the fire. All these reasons created a scapegoat for the government to declare Martial Law.

The night before Martial Law was declared, Secretary of defense Juan Ponce Enrile supposedly was ambushed by communists further crediting the reason for the passing of Proclamation 1081 or Martial Law. The target of ambush, Juan Ponce Enrile himself admitted to the fraudulent system years after by providing his statement that his car at the night of the incident was covered in machinegun bullets fired from his own men. -BQ

Posted by: filamgroup1 | November 30, 2009

Plaza Miranda Bombing

On the night of August 21, 1971, at around 9:15 P.M., the candidates of the Liberal Party had formed a line on the stage with their arms raised and the crowd applauding. The band was playing, and there were fireworks. Then there were two loud explosions. Two hand grenades were thrown on the stage of the political rally of the Liberal Party at Plaza Miranda in the district of Quiapo, Manila. The Liberal Party’s campaign rally was held to introduce the eight Senatorial candidates and the candidate for the Mayoralty race in Manila. There was a crowd of about 4,000 people to hear the speeches of these candidates. This night of campaigning turned into a night of tragedy when the two hand grenades were thrown on the stage. Nine people were killed, and 98 others were injured. A 5 year old child and the Manila Times photographer Ben Roxas were among those killed instantly. Almost everyone on stage was injured including Senator Jovito Salonga, Liberal Party president Gerardo Roxas, and Sergio Osmena, Jr., son of former President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Sergio Osmena. Senator Salonga became 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. Mel Lopez, survivor of the bombing and a Manila councilor at the time, said, “I saw the grenade hit a wire and land in front of the stage. Then the joyful shouts of the crowd welcoming the fireworks turned into heart-rending shrieks and cries of the wounded, mostly from children who huddled close to the stage. The crowd stampeded and chairs and placards started flying all over. The second grenade came at an interval of perhaps 1.5 to two seconds and likewise exploded.” Suspicion of responsibility for the bombing initially fell upon President Ferdinand Marcos and his political party, the Nacionalistas. The Liberal Party blamed President Marcos for the bombing. Marcos allies suggested that Benigno Aquino, who was not at the rally, might be responsible for the bombing to eliminate his potential rivals within the party. In later years, the Marcos government presented evidence that Jose Ma. Sison and the New People’s Army were responsible for the bombing. The police captured one of the bombers who was identified as a sergeant of the firearms and explosive section of the Philippine Constabulary, a military arm of the government. According to Aquino, this man was taken from police custody by military personnel, and the public never heard from him again. This bombing reportedly might have triggered the declaration of Martial Law which was declared on September 21, 1972. According to Angie Chui from the Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing is a “reminder to fight for freedom.” It is a reminder to fight for democracy. To this day, the country remembers the bombing every August 21st along with the assassination of Benigno Aquino. -CG

Posted by: filamgroup1 | November 30, 2009

Ninoy Aquino

Benigno Servillano “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. was born on November 27, 1932, in Concepcion, Tarlac, and he was assassinated on August 21, 1983, at the Manila International Airport. He was born into a prosperous family of hacienderos (landlords). His family was highly involved within the political scene. His grandfather served under the first and youngest Philippine President Emilio Aguinaldo as a general, and his father held office under the second president Manuel L. Quezon and third president Jose P. Laurel as a Philippine senator. Ninoy Aquino was a Philippine senator, governor of Tarlac, mayor of his hometown of Concepcion, and an opposition leader against President Ferdinand Marcos. Aquino is famous for his public speaking skills, his brilliant mind, and his great ambition. In 1961 at age 29, he became governor of the Tarlac province. In 1966, he became secretary-general of the Liberal Party. In 1967, he became the youngest elected senator in the Philippine history at age 34. He was the only one from the Liberal Party who made it to the senate at that time. Aquino married Corazon Cojoangco and had five children with her. Aquino was marked as Marcos and his allies’ greatest threat. In 1968, during his first year in the Upper House, Aquino warned that Marcos was establishing a military state by increasing the budget of the armed forces, equipping the defense establishment with generals who stayed beyond their working hours, and militarizing the civilian government offices. All these warnings by Aquino were said about four years before martial law was declared by Marcos. On February 10, 1969, Aquino delivered a speech called “A Pantheon for Imelda” in which he criticized the first lady Imelda Marcos’s first project, the Cultural Center, which he called a monument to shame. Aquino was selected by the Philippine Free Press magazine as one of the nation’s most outstanding senators. He was a leading candidate for the presidency of 1973 when President Marcos was scheduled to leave office after completing the maximum two terms as president. On August 21, 1971, the Plaza Miranda bombing took place. This is when the pattern of direct confrontation between Marcos and Aquino emerged. Aquino was absent during the bombing. When Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972, Aquino was one of the first to be arrested and imprisoned on fabricated charges of murder, illegal possession of firearms, and subversion—an intention to undermine legal authority. On April 4, 1975, Aquino announced that he was going on a hunger strike to protest the injustices of his military trial. He lived off salt tablets, sodium bicarbonate, amino acids, and two glasses of water a day. He grew weak, and he lost weight. He was still forced by soldiers to the military court’s session where he was found guilty even though he denied all the charges. He spent over seven years in prison. On May 13, 1975, the 40th day of fasting, Aquino’s family, friends, and priests begged him to end his fasting. He agreed without any protest. Ninoy Aquino continued to be a huge influence in the Philippines. In 1980, Aquino went to the United States for a heart bypass operation and remained there as a refugee. He went back to the Philippines on August 21, 1983, when he was assassinated at the airport. President Marcos was blamed for Aquino’s assassination, but no evidence has been presented. After Aquino’s death, the democratic opposition to Marcos became stronger, and the Philippine economy was falling apart. Ninoy’s wife Corazon formed a huge political movement and became president in 1986. Ninoy Aquino left his legacy upon the Philippines. –CG

Posted by: filamgroup1 | November 30, 2009

Philippine Presidents during 1960-1975

Carlos Polistico Garcia was born on November 4, 1896, in Talibon, Bohol, and he died on June 14, 1971, at the age of 74. He was a teacher, a poet, an orator, a lawyer, a public official, and a guerilla leader. He was the 8th president of the Philippines. He is known for his Austerity Program which aimed to curb graft and corruption within the government. He is also known for his Filipino First policy which puts the interests of the Filipino people above foreigners and the ruling party. In November 1961, he ran for re-election, but he was defeated by Diosdado Macapagal—the vice-president under him. So his term as the Philippine president ended on December 30, 1961. On June 1, 1971, he was elected delegate of the 1971 Constitutional Convention. He was elected the President of the Convention. But on June 14, 1971, he suffered a fatal heart attack in Quezon City.

Diosdado Pangan Macapagal was born on September 28, 1910, in Lubao, Pampanga, and died on April 27, 1997, at the age of 86. He is of royal blood because his great-great grandfather is Don Juan Macapagal, the prince of Tondo and the great-grandson of the last reigning Rajah of Selurong, Rajah Lakandula. He was still the son of poor tenant farmers. He was the 6th vice president of the Philippines. He served from 1957 to 1961 under President Carlos Garcia. He was also the 9th president of the Philippines. He served from 1961 to 1965. He was inaugurated as president on December 30, 1961. In his inaugural statement, he said, “I shall be president not only of the rich but more so of the poor. We must help bridge the wide gap between the poor man and the man of wealth, not by pulling down the rich to his level as Communism desires, but by raising the poor towards the more abundant life.” As president, he worked to suppress graft and corruption and to stimulate the Philippine economy. He introduced the first land reform law, placed the peso on the free currency exchange market, and liberalized foreign exchange and import controls. The Agricultural Land Reform Code of 1963 abolished share tenancy on rice and corn farmlands, and it established a leasehold system in which farmers paid fixed rentals to landlords, rather than a percentage of the harvest. In June 1962, he signed a proclamation that moved the country’s Independence Day from July 4 to June 12, commemorating the day Filipino patriots declared independence from Spain in 1898. July 4 is the date when the country was granted independence from the United States in 1946. The change became permanent in 1964 with the signing of Republic Act No. 4166. In 1965, he ran for re-election, but he was defeated by Ferdinand Marcos. His daughter, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is the current president of the Philippines.

Ferdinand Emmanual Edralin Marcos was born on September 11, 1917, in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, and died on September 28, 1989 at the age of 72. He was a member of the Philippine House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and a member of the Philippine Senate from 1959 to 1965. He was the president of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was reelected in 1969. During his second term, he developed a personality cult in the Philippines surrounding him, requiring businesses and schools all across the Philippines to have his official presidential picture or their facilities shut down. His propaganda messages were placed all across the Philippines; many of them were placed on billboard advertisements. Violent student protests took place during his time in office. Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972. According to my mother when Martial Law was declared, she did not feel any effects because she was living in the province. The only thing was that her school’s elections were abolished because any forms of groups were prohibited. The government was scared of uprisings and anti-government groups. Other than that, crime rates plunged dramatically after a curfew was implemented, and many political opponents were forced to go into exile at the time of Martial Law. A new constitution went into effect in early 1973. It changed the form of government from presidential to parliamentary. It allowed Marcos to stay in power beyond 1973. He was president until 1986 when Corazon Aquino became president. –CG

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