Atienza to clear Marcos in Plaza Miranda bombing


THE LATE former President Ferdinand Marcos had no hand in the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing that crippled the political opposition and shortly led to the declaration of Martial Law by the then emerging strongman.

The assertion was made over the weekend by Rep. Lito Atienza of Buhay party-list, who was one of those severely wounded when bombs exploded off at the Liberal Party (LP) campaign rally at the famous square in Manila’s Quiapo district 45 years ago on August 21.

At a weekly breakfast meeting in Quezon City, Atienza announced that he will clear Marcos of allegations that the former president had masterminded the deadly attack in a privilege speech this afternoon, August 22, and identify those behind the bombing.

He said he will try to connect the bombing to the 1983 assassination of former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., who, until his death on August 21 of that year, remained an LP stalwart.

Atienza, also the House senior deputy minority leader, made the announcement even as he threw his support behind the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to allow the Marcos family to bury the remains of its patriarch at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery).

“I have fought Marcos. After the explosion at Plaza Miranda, I was picking up body parts of my colleagues. I was cursing Marcos. What we knew after all these years is that Marcos was the brains behind the bombing. We blamed him but what we did not know was that we should be blaming somebody else,” Atienza said at the breakfast meeting at Anabel’s on Tomas Morato Avenue.

The lawmaker said he hopes his privilege speech will help heal old wounds without prejudicing whatever cases that supposed political enemies of the Marcoses then and now will file in court against the former leader’s family.

In backing the President’s decision to have Marcos’ remains buried at the Heroes’ Cemetery, Atienza called on members of the Duterte Cabinet to follow his lead.

Also supporting a hero’s burial for Marcos were former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Dionisio Santiago, Lakas ng Manggagawa labor center Secretary General Teri Tuazon and Moro National Liberation Front youth convenor Zulfikar-ali Bayam, who attended the weekly breakfast forum.

Atienza, a former mayor of Manila, chided those “who enjoy the confidence of the President and yet oppose his decision to honor Marcos with a hero’s burial.”

While he clarified that he is in no position to dictate on members of the Duterte Cabinet, he pointed out that the President’s decision is motivated by “the pursuit of national unity and reconciliation.”

Among those who previously objected to Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani were Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, who, as congressman of party-list Anakpawis in 2011, was co-author of House Resolution 1297 that opposed the plan.

Opposition lawmaker Teodoro Baguilat of Ifugao had urged Taguiwalo, Mariano and Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr., a former anti-Marcos activist, to speak up against Duterte’s decision.

Reports have said that the burial would take place on September 18.


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  1. Isn’t it weird, bizarre, and suspicious that this Rep. Lito Atienza is niow coming out of the woodwork to “clear” the late FE Marcos in the Plaza Miranda bombing? As the saying goes, he must have drunk the Marcos’ kool-aid and continues to do so. This is most likely a case of “quid pro quo” (“something for something”). The bombing took place a long time ago, yet he finds it appropriate to mouth off only today? More importantly, who is he and what authority does he have to “clear” the late FEM. Did he conduct a proper investigation? When did this investigation take place? Is there an investigative report to support the “clearance” he’s talking about? He is entitled to his opinion that the late FEM should be buried at LNMB. But so are others whose opinions are contrary to his own. One good thing that arose from this recent controversy regarding the burial issue is that the killings, the murders, the atrocities, the plunder, the pillage of the country’s assets, the kidnappings, and the case of the “disappeared” that took place under Marcos’ dictatorship and Martial Law have been brought forward into sunlight again, and many who know little or nothing about this dark chapter in Philippine history have suddenly become aware and interested to find out more about it. To quote Raissa Robles’ book title: “Never Again”!

  2. Sure, the same militants and martial law victims, including communists who have killed so many of our soldiers, who committed mayhem and murder, who continue their armed struggle to establish a communist government in the Philippines, are a noisy and protesting lot, with the aid of the yellow media continuing to give them the publicity, making it appear that the whole nation is against this burial.
    But they are not the majority of the Filipinos who are against the burial of the late president at the LMNB, although they like to portray themselves as the voice and pulse of the Filipino people while making it appear that the majority of the Filipinos are against the burial of Marcos.