Once upon a ride to the Plaza Miranda bombing


Part 2
The current piece is about that afternoon I had a ride with Banero in his car on the way to his destination somewhere in the south of Metro Manila.


I asked Bane what he intended to do now that the Party had removed from him – nay, the NTUB – the responsibility over the workers sector in the revolutionary movement.

Bane took a while to answer. He cast a glance at the distance. It looked like he saw nothing, and taking a subtle heavy breath, he said, “We will appeal.” Then he asked his driver to pull aside after crossing the Guadalupe Bridge.

“Dito ka na lang,” he told me.

I got off the car sans any more amenities. And Bane pulled off to some other business southward down the highway.

I proceeded to the KASAMA headquarters no longer bothering about Bane but about what I must do to advance the cause of the strike movement. The only significance I remembered about that date was that I would be staying with the family at our Cavite St. apartment in Sta. Cruz, Manila the day after, which was August 22, my birthday. Nanay should be ready with some special meal for me when I got home, one of the rare times I took a day off from my revolutionary duties to find time for the family.

But three decades and eight years later, Benigno C. Aquino 3rd was imminently going to be President of the Philippine Republic, with the elections of 2010 drawing near. Noynoy was drawing much support for his candidacy from continuous public adulation of his dead parents, Ninoy and Cory. I just felt it my duty to tell the people that Ninoy and Cory were no heroes and it would be a very big mistake for the people to vote their son President, all for acknowledging a heroism that was not there. Much earlier, I had gotten information that the grenades blasted at the LP political rally that August 21 was of the same type as the one I was asked to explode at the police in a subsequent rally at the US Embassy. Why I did not explode the grenade as ordered would form an entirely different story and would distract from the current theme. Suffice it to say that confronted with the phenomenon of Ninoy Aquino being the only one of the LP senatorial candidates spared by the grenade blasts on Plaza Miranda, I embarked on much research, and in the endeavor I ended up on the 1989 joint inquiry conducted on the Plaza Miranda Bombing by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

From the minutes of the October 25 hearing, we gather the following information:

That hours before the Plaza Miranda Bombing, then top-rank CPP Central Committee member Ruben Guevarra was brought before Jose Maria Sison in a UG house in Paranaque for introduction to three young men: Danny Cordero, a certain Ka Daniel and Cecilio Apostol. As the minutes would bear out, Guevarra was summoned by Sison for presentation to him of the three, whom he would accommodate in the interiors of Isabela soon after they carried out their mission by nightfall.

What was the mission?

Here’s how it is reflected in the minutes:
MR. CHAIRMAN: So, nakita mo lang itong mga taong ito kausap ni Jose Maria Sison nuong kahaponan na ‘yon?

MR. GUEVARRA: Opo, kasi po, nuong araw na ‘yon, bago nangyari po iyong pambobom… paghahagis ng granada nuon, may pinag-usapan kami ni Sison na ano ba ang dapat gawin talaga sa mga hinihiling ng mga pulitiko. Nabanggit ko nga po sa kanya nuon “ano kaya, kung may humiling kaya sa amin na likidahin namin o tambangan namin ‘yong kalaban ni ganitong partido, ano kaya magagawa kaya natin.

Ang natatandaan ko pong sabi ni Sison sa akin nuon, “Hindi naman tayo mga ano, eh, mga bayaran eh. Hindi naman tayo nagpapaupa para pumatay. Sa katotohanan…”sabi n’ya, “may — magsasagawa tayo ng pambobomba ngayong gabi sa isang meeting. Hindi sa     dahilang humingi tayo ng kabayaran, kundi dahil gusto nating umiral and gusto nating mangyari.”

THE CHAIRMAN: Sinabi sa iyo ‘yan mismo ni Jose Maria Sison?

MR. GUEVARRA: Magkaharap ko kami sinabi n’ya.

THE CHAIRMAN: Kailan sinabi sa iyo ‘yan?

MR. GUEVARRA: Nuon pong gabi na – na nakita ko sina Danny Codero sa bahay na yon.

THE CHAIRMAN: At sinong kaharap nuong sinabi sa iyo ‘yan?

MR. GUEVARRA: Tatlo po kaming magkakaharap, iyong isang Ka Erning. Pagkatapos po….



THE CHAIRMAN: Hindi mo alam ang kanyang tunay na pangalan?

MR. GUEVARRA: Kilala ko po ‘yong kanyang tunay na pangalan pero hindi ko po masasabi kung anong legal n’yang pangalan. Tapos po, nuong matapos masabi ni Jose Maria Sison ‘yon, sabi niya “alis na ako”. Nagmamadali po siyang umalis.

Ngayon ang sabi n’ya kay Ka Erning, “ipaliwanag mo sa kanya ang isang mahalagang bagay”.

Di, umalis na po si Sison, kami naman ni Ka Erning naiwan sa kuwarto. Dito ko po nalaman iyong tiyak na plano.

Ang sabi ni Ka Erning, “Bobombahin natin ngayon ang miting nga (sic) Liberal party. Pinababatid ko sa ‘yo ang bagay na ito, dahilan ang mga taong magsasagawa nito o iyong mga kasamang magsasakatuparan ng misyon ay ipadadala sa Isabelo (sic). Kung matutuloy ang misyon…” sabi n’ya “sa loob ng ilang araw o sa loob ng isang linggo ay ipadadala sa Isabela itong mga taong ito at dapat na ito’y kaagad na maipasok sa loob ng forest region, huwag nang magtatagal sa mga bahay-bagsakan, at subaybayan ninyong mabuti sa ideologia at pulitika”.

Nuong ko lang po natiyak iyong gam…. pero hindi ko po alam na ‘yong mismong miting na ‘yon ang hahagisan ng Granada. Kaya po, nagpahatid na rin ako sa kila Collantes nuon at kay Magtanggol Roque, inihatid ako sa isag (sic) UG House naming dito sa Pasay.     Nuong umaga ko na lang po nalaman na nabasa ko — nadinig ko na sa radio at nakabasa na ako ng diyaryo na iyon na ang nangyari.

So, naghanda na po akong bumalik ng Isabela nuon, nuong dumating sa akin iyong miyembro ng National Liaisons Commission naming, dalawa sila ang naghatid sa kinalalagyan ko si Magtanggol Roque, may iniabot na maliit na sulat uli sa akin, galling kay Ka Erning. Ang nakasulat po ganito: “Alam mo na ang nangyari kagabi, ilan lamang ang nakakaalam nito at ito’y hindi na dapat pang malaman ng ibang pinuno maging ibang kagawad ng Komite Sentral. Ang sinumang maglabas ng impormasyon na ito, ay may pinakamatapat… ay may pinakamabigat na kaparusahan.” Ganoon po ang nilalaman ng sulat.

(To be continued)


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  1. Rodan Guerrero on

    We cant wait for JOMA Sison to reveal Ninoy Aquino is a Co-Founder of the CPP/NDF. We wait anybody to reveal Ninoy Aquino is a conspirator of the Plaza Miranda Bombing. We cant wait anyone among the YELLOW TERMITES to reveal the killer of Communist Ninoy is a member of their clan. Three decades of hiding the REAL TRUTH is now at its end. I would appreciate the writer of this column if he does what EX-Ambassador Tiglao is doing. Sir Tiglao is now telling the Filipinos that causing rebellion against the government is not good and I salute him so much for that. We need Mediamen who are doing their jobs in the best way they can….together with Kits Tatad I salute both of them!

  2. hala sige….sabihin niyo sa buong mundo na martyr at bayani ang mga traidor na mga Aquino…si Ninoy pakana na kasabwat ang CPP/NPA para bombahin ang Plaza Miranda bombing and to blame it on to Marcos as well as the alleged Jabidah massacre………and lately the assassination of Ninoy alam naman natin na ang mastermind ay mula sa kanilang angkan at ayaw ipa reinvestigate to forever blame it to Marcos.mga idiot aquino supporters..basahin….