Truth does not expire. And the truth shall set us free, so the homily went last Sunday after the nation celebrated the People Power Revolution. As expected, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), through a long pastoral letter signed by Bishop David of Caloocan, talked profusely of martial law and how violence destroyed our Christian way of life.
The Church wanted us to “respect truth by respecting history,” rather than subjecting it to revisionism with lies and propaganda. That conviction for truth led to the nonviolent overthrow of the dictator on February 25, 1986. At least, that was what we were told.
I partially agree with the Church. And in order to fully agree with them we have to endeavor to complete that part which was kept from us by the Cory Aquino government, after she ordered then National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) chief Rodolfo Canieso to have all literature and reports incriminating Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. and his role in the CPP-NPA creation and the secessionist violence, be collected and burned.
We’ve had 32 years of biased history on martial law from 1986 to 2016. During the 30th People Power anniversary in 2016, PNoy even directed the AFP to host the martial law “experiential museum” in its own hallowed grounds.
The commander in chief directed the Armed Forces of the Philippines to shame itself by telling the nation how it brutalized its people in the service of its master, the dictator.
Wonderful experience. But guess what? That historical rendition must start in that infamous year, 1972.
How will truth set us free when the truth is incomplete? The more relevant question is: How did martial law of 1972 come about?
As the Church reminded us during the homily, let’s go back to official records and historical documents, to events leading up to the declaration in September 1972. Let’s not rely on school manuals printed by the victors of 1986 because they are obviously tainted to serve the purpose of the Aquino regime.
My only wish is for these millennials and Gen Z to be more open-minded and be objectively critical of the circumstances then, as they happened, which led to martial law and the eventual downfall of the strongman in 1986.
Confluence of local, international events
I have written in previous columns about the developments in Asia, as the Soviet-led Marxist-Leninist communists were successfully tearing down democratic governments in Indonesia, Malaysia, South Vietnam, Kampuchea, Singapore, Korea, Thailand and Burma from 1954 to 1969, and even earlier.
It was a cause for concern for the US, especially in the Philippines where its biggest air force and naval fleet were based. It would be interesting to know what their historical documents are saying about our political situation and the communist insurgents then.
Document 238 — Airgram from the US Embassy in the Philippines to the Department of State, Foreign Relations of the US, 1969-1976, Vol XX, Southeast Asia, 1969-1972 (https://history.state.gov>historicaldocuments>d238), dated Aug. 20, 1971, clearly indicates that Senator Aquino, the LP secretary-general, is seriously worried that the Liberal Party is in danger of extinction.
President Marcos, according to him, has changed the rules of the game in the political scene, that clearly, he has no chance of winning in the November 1971 elections.
He tells political counselor Frank E. Maestrone that he considers the option of “going to the hills” to fight a revolution that could happen between September 1971 to 1974 or 1975. In the “comment” portion of the document, it clearly said that Senator Aquino is in active contact with Kabataan Makabayan (KM) leaders in Manila and outside.
Senator Aquino declared further that “there will be a shift to urban terrorism rather than terroristic activities in the provinces” which he felt were not having the desired impact. Ninoy also disclosed that the number of students who have received two to three months guerrilla training in the hills and who have returned to the cities were growing.
“In the future, there will be fewer direct confrontation with the police and PC, but there will be more sniping, arson, bombing and other forms of selective terrorism,” Senator Ninoy declared.
If you take note of the date of the reported meeting of Maestrone with Ninoy, it was a day before the Plaza Miranda bombing by the CPP-NPA on Aug. 21, 1971, which almost wiped out Ninoy’s very own Liberal Party.
Clearly, this “icon of democracy” was very much involved in the planning and preparation for all the violence created by the CPP-NPA months and even years before the declaration of martial law.
Document 238 clearly and correctly stated that Aquino “has no political ideology beyond his own personal ambitions.” Because his “political [page 510] clique cannot alternate in power with the Marcoses by democratic means, then it will become necessary to resort to violent revolution as the means of gaining power.”
Let’s remember that we are speaking here of pre-martial law, where none of the abuses and torture by the AFP happened. The reports illustrate Senator Aquino’s actions and his collusion with the CPP-NPA, who wanted to create chaos and violence and force Marcos to declare martial law.
Let’s see other historical documents.
Document 257 – On September 12, 1971, Senator Aquino revealed that with the rapidly worsening law and order and communist dissident problems adding to the economic woes, he believes that “Marcos must take strong actions in the future and that these will include martial law” and that Ninoy would support Marcos.
However, Ninoy knew that it would backfire on Marcos. And since “the possibilities of his becoming a head of government by legitimate means are quickly diminishing…he is keeping open an option to lead an anti-Marcos revolution in alliance with the communists,” the document says.
Federico Pascual of the Philippine Star can confirm these martial law innuendos of Marcos. He wrote about this interview with Senator Aquino where Ninoy confirmed to the columnist (@Postscript, December 10, 2015), that given the chance to be president, the only way he could close the economic gap was for him to assume dictatorial powers.
And in order “to solve big-time smuggling sapping the vitality of the economy…smugglers will be summoned to Malacañang…and if the economic sabotage continued…bodies of these notorious smugglers would be floating in the Pasig River…and if the scare tactic still failed…the corpses of more smuggling lords would be spotted among the water lilies in the Pasig.” Remember, these are Senator Aquino’s words.
(Should this be what President Duterte is doing? Except that he is not Ninoy, whom the Church loves and promotes so much?)
Anyway, more on the excerpts from US historical documents. In October 1968, Aquino and Sison met and discussed “how big a problem Marcos was,” and Yap, Aquino and Rodolfo Salas (who would succeed Dante as NPA head) arranged a meeting between Sison and Dante.
The meeting took place in late January 1969 in Dante’s hometown of Talimundoc, Capas. Aquino’s money “from the coffers of his wife and Lopez family” funded the CPP’s front organizations, including their huge 1970 rallies romanticized as the “First Quarter Storm.”
If you want to know more about Senator Ninoy’s connections with the communists and how they formed a broad united front, you can read Airgram A-245, September 21, 1972.
Hidden historical materials, information
Still, if you don’t like the US official accounts, you can check some of these political manifestos and ephemera of the late 1960s and 1970s in two steel cabinets at the UP Library in Diliman. Fortunately, it survived two Aquino administrations, thanks to the patriotism and heroism of these unnamed librarians.
The academic dissertation of Dr. Joseph Paul Scalice entitled “Crisis of Revolutionary Leadership: Martial Law and the Communist Parties of the Philippines, 1957-1974,” is an eye-opener for all of us.
Well researched, it is a treasure trove of information about the underground.
You can also visit the Library of the University of California in Berkeley, the US Army Command and General Staff College Library in Ft. Leavenworth, KS, the US Naval Postgraduate School Library in Monterey, or the Australian Defense College Library in Canberra.
The books and references in these libraries abroad escaped the “purging” of historical accounts of events prior to the declaration of martial law. These are the historical materials hidden from us by the Liberals, in order for them to freely write their warped version and perspective of our history.
From 1968 until the last weeks before martial law ended his political career, Senator Aquino was plotting with the CPP to seize power for himself, long before martial law was declared.
Not only did Ninoy collude with Jose Ma Sison and the CPP-NPA, but he also led the Liberal stalwarts in founding the secessionist movement in Mindanao.
The violence that ensued from 1969 up to 1972 was all part of a deliberate plan of Senator Aquino in order to create an opening for his political ambition.
It’s a shame many of us have been duped by this “boy wonder” and all the other “yellow” traitors that followed after him.
The People Power was simply an offshoot of the martial law which any president, Ninoy included, would have resorted to under the circumstances. Simply, it was an opportunity that the Liberals hijacked from the real heroes, the putschists, led by the Secretary of National Defense Juan Ponce Enrile and Reform-the Armed-Forces Movement (RAM) founded by Greg Honasan, who risked their lives to topple the regime.
This is the inconvenient truth that the Church wouldn’t want us to see. If we do, they label it called revisionism.
Yet truth never expires, even after 36 years of suppression. That’s the reason why yellow is now pink.
READ: What Ninoy Aquino was telling the US about martial law https://opinion.inquirer.net/100594/ninoy-told-us-marcos