Memories of a Civil War

Kirk was already in late-twenties when he got into the mainstream of the so-called national democratic movement initiated by Jose Maria Sison. From the ranks of mass activists, he was elevated to candidate membership in the Communist Party of the Philippines and after a few months in that status became full-fledged party member. The chaos within the party resulting from the sudden declaration of martial law on September 22, 1972 saw him getting separated from his party unit, but he went on organizing among workers on a self-style basis in which he advocated a review of the Sison strategy of protracted people’s war which he saw inappropriate to the concrete Philippine condition. Forced to surface from his underground revolutionary work, he pursued his writing craft and became successful at screenwriting, subsequently at film direction. Beginning 1977 when he won a best screenplay award in the Metro Manila Film Festival, old acquaintances in the revolutionary movement began gravitating around him, which would shortly siphon him back into the fight, so to speak. He found himself sitting with a group that called itself IL (for International Liaison) which the polio-stricken political officer heading it loved to call “the most powerful commission in the Party central committee, next to the military commission”. Eventually a former co-member in a party group in the workers sector led him to then sitting Chairman of the CPP, Rodolfo Salas alias Kumander Bilog, also the head of the Military Commission. After a while of performing tasks under the N2 (Intelligence) of the General Command of the New People’s Army, he was appointed head of the Special Intelligence Unit subordinate only to the General Command and directly responsible to it. He was in that position when the EDSA crisis erupted. The following are his recollections of those circumstances.

* * *

The days into February 1986 were a period of chaos among responsible cadres of the Communist Party of the Philippines – to be precise, of the lower-level cadres. Compartmentalization in the Party made it impossible for a member of a unit to know what’s going in the other units, much more in the higher organs. Party directives were disseminated through policy papers and the Party organ, Ang Bayan. Once these directives were passed down to the mass level, that’s when matters were discussed on a mass scale. The issue during that period was: Would the movement participate in the coming snap presidential election.

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marcos_snap_electionBack in December, through much of the initiative of Jaime Cardinal Sin, the tandem of Corazon Aquino and Salvador P. Laurel was hastily formed to beat the deadline for filing certificate of candidacy. And the country, mainly in Metro Manila, was thrown into the frenzy of the political campaigns by both sides. In many aspects, rallies and demonstrations and teach-ins were reminiscent of the days immediately preceding the declaration of martial law in 1972. The demonizing of Marcos then had reached its flaming zenith.

But conspicuously absent from the crowd of Cory campaigners were the natdems (acronym for national democrats), those in the national democratic movement. Opposed to the natdems were the socdems (for social democrats), now carrying solo the banner of the Cory cry: “Tama na. Sobra na. Palitan na. Alis dyan!” Of course, along with the new slogan was the ubiquitous trademark of the Marcos hate campaign: “Marcos Hitler! Diktador! Tuta!”

Certainly the natdems were side by side with the socdems, but their cry was different: “Boycott! Boycott! Boycott!”

It had been the position of the Party, as reached in a meeting of the KTKS (Komiteng Tagapagpagganap ng Komite Sentral), not to participate in the election, which it deemed another maneuver of the US to further entrench Marcos in power.

It is impossible to tell for someone outside the KTKS how each member of the committee voted on the issue. So it was difficult for me to determine who among them to express my view of the situation. Though the principle of democratic centralism, by which any member may express his views on any issue, was preached among party members, still one needed extreme caution in expressing his ideas lest he be branded anti-party, an offense punishable by death. But being head of a unit directly responsible to the General Command, I developed intimacy with GC leading elements, particularly Ka Jun (alias of Rolando Kintanar, NPA chief of staff). I believed with Ka Jun, I did not stand to be sanctioned for expressing an honest belief.

The snap election struck me as a grand US show. A US congressional observer team had been dispatched to the Philippines to monitor the conduct of the election. This was odd. The election was exclusively the country’s affair and no other country had business interfering in it. But the US was making sure it had business to do in the event.

Moreover, a large contingent of international media people had been mobilized to cover the election, something which to me was overkill. So Marcos was staking his position ahead of the expiration of his term, was that so big a deal as to warrant such a huge army of international media men? Either way the election would go, they could well cover it through the wires. But they chose to go get the big news, whatever which would come about, first-hand. Again, this was a US handiwork.
And on top of everything, the US Seventh Fleet was just offshore in Manila Bay. The fleet had been US’s greatest arm-twisting instrument in the Asia Pacific. What did it have to do with the Philippine snap presidential election? There must be a war somehow which the US needed to confront just in case. Marcos by then had been, in a manner of saying, hobnobbing with Russia and China, something the US didn’t like. From the time of the American aggression in the 1900s, the Philippines had always been an exclusive US enclave, but Marcos, with martial law, had been increasingly veering the country away from such exclusivity.

So I talked to Ka Jun during a break in his meeting with the General Staff and mustered enough guts to propose that we strike up an alliance with Marcos under the current circumstances. I said it was Marcos who the US was intending to get out of power through the snap election and so it was he who we should ally with inasmuch as we were anti-US imperialism.

At my proposal, Ka Jun spoke no words. He fixed a stare at me, a piercing stare that betrayed a deep inner thing in him, like some kind of soul searching done to accommodate my idea. Ka Charlie, intelligence head of the General Command, overheard the talk on striking up alliances in the crisis and butted in, “That’s a good idea.”

“He is proposing alliance with Marcos,” cut in Ka Jun, clarifying the issue.

“Impossible,” Ka Charlie snapped.

“Marcos is the one the US wants out,” I insisted.

“Marcos is still the US boy in this fight,” Ka Charlie insisted in turn, his voice stern but his lips lined with a grin that indicated he was more entertained than anything else by my idea.

I had hoped that if I could convince Ka Jun on my idea, then he could talk the KTKS into reversing the boycott policy to one of participation – of course, participation in favor of Marcos. I was thinking of the Bolsheviks in 1917. They were together with the Mensheviks in toppling the czarist regime of Nicholas II. Instead of forming a government of their own as a result of the Czar’s downfall, Lenin insisted in joining up with the Kerensky government that had been installed. Once entrenched in that government, the Bolsheviks arrested the entire Kerensky cabinet and with that proclaimed the famous: “All power to the soviets.” Thus was born the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the fruit of a truly bloodless revolution.

What would have happened if Ka Jun had listened to my proposal, carried it to the KTKS, which would then have reversed the boycott policy to one of participation – participation for Marcos? Surely it would have created furor and outrage, frustration and disillusionment among the great masses of the national democratic movement conditioned to yelling “Marcos Hitler! Diktador! Tuta!” This was admitted – but for one single reason: that they believed Marcos was the US boy. If we explained that Cory was the new stooge being groomed in the whole exercise, that in fact the US had organized the international media coverage of the event, coupled with the Congressional monitoring team and the awesome firepower of the US Seventh Fleet, wouldn’t the masses of the revolutionaries have understood that such a reversal was all for advancing the struggle against US imperialism?

In the 1930s, when the Chinese Communist Party had not quite grown big yet, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union convinced it to get absorbed within the Kuomintang Party of Chiang Kai-Sheik, which the Soviet party actually supported with military training, arms and logistical and technical support in the resistance against Japanese aggression. The CCP acquiesced and for a time took its command from the Kuomintang. And as history would eventually prove it, that decision was correct. At an appropriate time, the CCP broke away from the Kuomintang, took over China’s countryside and from there engaged the Kuomintang in one of the bloodiest civil wars in history, culminating in the CCP takeover of the entire China mainland, with the Kuomintang pushed back to the small province of Formosa, now Taiwan.

What would have happened if Ka Jun had listened to my proposal?

The question really no longer mattered at the time. It was too late in the day. As we say, don’t change horses in midstream. Sun Tzu puts it in his own way: Don’t engage an enemy while crossing a river. Everything in the US machination had been set to full throttle and there was no stopping the events from reaching their destined finale: the walk out by canvassers when the Comelec count was showing a Marcos win, the Namfrel showing the discrepancy between the Comelec count and its own which showed Cory winning, the Batasan proclamation of Marcos as winner, the Cory civil disobedience campaign, outrage by US Senator Lugar over what he termed as rampant disenfranchisement of up to 40% of the voters, and the pressure from US senators on Reagan to withdraw support from Marcos.

When Reagan sent Philip Habib to talk to both Marcos and Cory ostensibly to find a middle ground in their conflict, it was actually to ascertain who of the two deserved to be put in place, that is, for US interest. Cory refused to share power with Marcos, so went the reports. But no intimate contents of Habib’s meeting with Cory would naturally find print in the press. Whatever, what was reported was that when Habib stood from the meeting, he told Cory she will win.

That was Friday, February 21. The following day, February 22, Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile made big waves of his holing up in Camp Aquinaldo together with AFP Vice Chief of Staff Fidel V. Ramos and RAM leader Col. Gregorio Honasan, announcing his resignation from the Marcos administration – a resignation that already the day before was carried in two US newspapers. And finally, with Cardinal Sin issuing the call for support from the populace for Enrile et al, the crowd poured into EDSA – protecting the very implementers of martial law which they had despised for a decade and a half.

All of a sudden the Party and the national democratic movement which it led found themselves utterly left out in the cold. The boycott policy had left them floating in limbo. What rode on the Cory takeover were the socdems who, save for Edgar Jopson and quite a few others, never really got to reconcile with the revolution.

Now, does it still matter to ask if things would have turned out differently had Marcos decided to fire at the EDSA crowd?

At the time, I thought Marcos would. He had not been depicted as Hitler if he wasn’t capable of gassing 6 million Jews. And I’d welcome it if he did. Marcos firing at the EDSA crowd would have a way of correcting the error of the boycott policy. It would surely enrage the populace and, as Cory told Habib, tear the nation in a widespread bloody confrontation.

As the vociferous firebrand Bal Pinguel of Kabataang Makabayan used to agitate his listeners in the 70s, no nation in history has ever developed without passing through a bloody revolution, citing the American Civil War, the Spanish Civil War and the Chinese Civil War, among others.

So even as my comrade Ka Dave and I were squeezing with the crowd some meters away from the Camp Aquinaldo gate, one being a lookout for the other, we were cautious about the possibility of a sudden rapid firing of armalites or bursts from grenade launchers.

A favorite quote from Mao Tse Tung crossed my mind: “A single spark can start a prairie fire.” This is it, I was urging Marcos to myself, “Strike the matchstick.”

But that Saturday wore on with no one striking a matchstick save for cigarette vendors enjoying a heyday, as did others vending sago gulaman, balut, cheap sandwiches, what have you, selling to the multitudes. It was everything that, again, Mao Tse Tung wouldn’t want a revolution to be: a picnic.

And so as I watched the news program that Monday evening, I suddenly found myself melting in the fire of streaming memories: the bravado of strikers at the Makabayan Publishing Corporation where they barricaded a strike-breaking truck with their bare bodies; the May Day Massacre in Congress in 1971 that killed union organizer Liza Balando and maimed countless others; the Caloocan Massacre that same year which peppered union leader Fred Tibar with bullets so terribly one slug got embedded in his thumb; the infamous Plaza Miranda bombing which killed an innocent girl cigarette vendor and two others and seriously injured the entire LP Senatorial ticket in the 1971 mid-term election – save for one single lucky guy who just happened not to be there when the blasts took place, Ninoy Aquino.

In a video I would watch many years after, Cory declares, “As we all know, Ninoy really wanted to be president. Everything was just planned for 1973.”

But as we all know, too, for the presidency, 1973 never came to Ninoy. Marcos declared martial law in 1972. Seven years and seven months of military detention under the martial law regime, three years of sojourn in the United States for treatment of heart ailment, and come 1983, Ninoy made the greatest political magic of his life. Against the advice of Imelda Marcos, Ninoy came home from the United States. A slug fired by an assassin from a .45 pierced through his skull as he was being led by Avsecom soldiers down the stairs of the China Airlines that brought him into the Manila International Airport. He dropped dead on the tarmac.

The whole nation mourned. Millions brought Ninoy to his final resting place. Above all, Cory got inscrutably ingrained in the consciousness of multitudes who can’t quite outgrow a yearning for gods and heroes. By 1985, the iconization of Cory was complete. She was ready to square off with Marcos.

So this was the realization I had upon viewing that news program on television. Cory was being sworn into office as President of the Republic of the Philippines.

How then could EDSA have blown up into a civil war when the events that led up to it had from the very beginning been crafted only to advance one man’s magnificent obsession with the presidency! With the objective having been achieved, why push the conflict further.

Of course, Ninoy died not getting to that post. Precisely. He should know he could no longer get there. Having undergone triple heart bypass operation, he should be a terminal case. He should have only two choices left, come home dead or come home a hero. Thus did it happen that what Ninoy failed to do in more than two decades of political skirmish with Marcos, he did in one grand act. By getting himself killed, he performed the greatest sleight of hand that ever took place right under the noses of a sadly gullible nation.

Soon after Cory took over the presidency, among her first acts, aside from the return of Meralco and ABS-CBN to the Lopezes, was the release from detention of Jose Maria Sison and Bernabe Buscayno alias Kumander Dante.

Expectedly, Sison began flexing muscles again, so to speak. That is, continue his movement, this time aiming it against the Cory government. At which, Cory issued a reprimand for him not to try it on her.

“You know what I mean,” she said.

Could Cory be referring to that day in 1968 when she served coffee to Ninoy and his guests, a professor from the Universsity of the Philippines and the leader of a breakaway group from the Hukbalahap, Jose Maria Sison and Bernabe Buscayno alias Kumander Dante? With the help of Tarlac Governor Apin Yap, Ninoy had brokered the meeting of the two for a purpose only they knew. At any rate, subsequent to that meeting came the establishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines on December 26, 1968, later followed by the founding of the New People’s Army on March 29, 1969.

Accordingly as the Ninoy-Marcos rivalry intensified, so did the Sisonite national democratic movement. Before EDSA, the New People’s Army had grown to a size of 25,000 regulars, all in company formation. This on top of 500,000 militia spread across the archipelago plus a large army of armed propaganda units the exact number of which I could no longer recall. Suffice it to say that by conventional military reckoning of 1:10 (1 rebel to 10 government troops) as an ideal ratio for engaging the enemy in guerilla warfare, the NPA had come to a high ground. The Philippine armed forces at the time numbered some 150,000, and this number should require only 15,000 of the NPA to be at par with the ratio. In fact, the national situationer issued by the Party during the period already spoke of a so-called strategic counter offensive (SCO) substage at which actions may be launched for achieving strategic stalemate. This is the stage where there is a clear division of territories between the protagonists in the war, each respective armed forces exercising control over them, and people have taken sides in the conflict – the stage of civil war. Once the strategic stalemate is reached, it becomes relatively easy for the rebellion to push on – the strategic offensive – and defeat the enemy.

In 1987, with Cory’s government still a revolutionary one, hence unstable, I had another casual conversation with Ka Jun in which I suggested that the strategy of the rebellion should be to prevent the holding of the next presidential election. The reason I gave was that if the next president would be elected through a democratic process, it would consolidate the political power of the Philippine bourgeoisie thereby weakening the armed struggle, if not rendering it inutile altogether.

“When would be the next presidential election?” Ka Jun asked.

“1992,” I replied.

“We shall have won by then,” Ka Jun said quite confidently.

It exhilarated me no end.

But then came Sison’s Reaffirm in 1991. (Kumander Bilog had been captured by the government earlier and leadership of the Party passed on to Benito Tiamzon, a Sison loyalist implementing the latter’s directives from the Netherlands. Ka Jun’s leadership of the New People’s Army was being contested by Buscayno.) In sum, Reaffirm subjected the boycott policy to severe criticism and proposed re-education for all those guilty of the error.

Particular emphasis was placed on what was regarded as military adventurism of Ka Jun, who was embarking on a strategy opposed to the protracted struggle program of Sison. Ka Jun’s program called for a Sandinista type of uprising that had proven successful in Panama. Groundwork for this strategy had already begun and at the time of EDSA was set to unfold. As I had been critical of the Sison line from the very start, seeing it as a shameless copy cat of the Mao Tse Tung strategy in China in the 1930s, Ka Jun’s line appealed to me as the more realistic, pragmatic, feasible strategy.

Now, in Party parlance, re-education simply means demotion for those guilty of the offense. Or worse yet, expulsion from the Party. Negative reaction to the Sison paper was widespread. Faced with the prospect of being meted punishment, many leading Party elements, including several who were members of the Party Central Committee and who had been critical of the overall Sison strategy of protracted struggle, chose to form their own factions, each faction having its own armed group and pursuing its own line of pushing the revolution.

Reaffirm smashed the Party into splinters. So did it the NPA, which broke up into guerilla units once again – as in the beginning.

Though Ninoy did not make it to the presidency, his widow did. It’s all the same. No need to make use further of the rebellion for which Ninoy had brokered the first meeting of Sison and Buscayno in 1968. Time to tear that rebellion apart. How do you do it?

Reaffirm did the trick.

Post Script:

Popoy Lagman, former Secretary General of the CPP Manila-Rizal Regional Party Committee who organized the much dreaded Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB) and wrote a number of books criticizing the Sison line of protracted struggle, was gunned down by two assassins inside the UP campus on February 7, 2001.

Next to fall was Ka Jun, Rolando Kintanar, shot and killed on January 23,2003 by reportedly 4 assassins while having meal at a restaurant in the Quezon City Circle. Gregorio Rosal, NPA head in Southern Luzon, owned up to the killing.

Arturo Tabara, Secretary General of the CPP Visayas Commission was assassinated in Quezon City in 2004.

Civil war, anyone?

108 Replies to “Memories of a Civil War”

  1. It’s interesting to view events from the perspective of a misguided revolutionary. Thanks for sharing.

    Aside from the theme of the article I pondered over the comment, “no nation in history has ever developed without passing through a bloody revolution” and concluded that it’s generally true but not entirely accurate.

    1. Read clearly please. It was not the writer’s comment. It was a recollection of an actual statement uttered in the past.

      But early on, please stick to issues.No aspersions to character such as “misguided”. You don’t know the man. Thank you.

      1. I didn’t attribute the comment to you and prefaced it with “aside from the theme”.
        Frankly, I don’t care if you think my term “misguided” is an aspersion or not. Anyone that believes in the communist ideal is definitely misguided (if not worse) regardless of their intentions. This is proven out by history not by my opinion.

        1. Sorry, I meant to say that I understood perfectly well the source of the statement was not you Mauro, nor the writer neither of which matter because that was not the purpose of my comment.
          I suppose GRP should allow communists to post articles as it provokes thought which isn’t a bad thing. However, I will vehemently disagree to the end of my days that communism is not a bad thing. It most certainly is.

        2. As I explain it elsewhere in this stream of comments, communism hasn’t been achieved yet, save for some, would I say, miniscule mirrors of. I had read somewhere long ago that the Kibutz of Israel is one such mirror. But as a system obtaining as a replacement of the capitalist system, it has not come about yet. Essentially, communism is a setup where the class conflict has been effaced from the face of the earth and so there is no more need for laws, police, prisons and courts to regulate the conduct of man’s living. Instead, what exists is a self-governing humankind guided by pure love and camaraderie. That said, I ask T4Man, has such setup ever come about yet? It hasn’t, is it not? How can you call evil something that has not existed yet? On the other hand, is not communism as I have just noted here, albeit in a very brief manner, good. U sincerely think so and continue to aspire for it, even if only in my solitude.

        3. Sorry, my fingers slipped and typed “U” instead of “I”. So that last sentence should read: “I sincerely think so and continue to aspire for it, even if only in my solitude.

  2. I don’t understand why Ninoy’s shenanigans with the NPA never gets highlighted by the mainstream media. It just sucks. It’s like an open secret.

    Some people think that a civil war is just what the country needs. The country never really became united even after we got our independence. Maybe the regions should just break up since they are ruled by warlords anyway. Matira matibay na lang.

    1. ninoy’s alliance with npa would never be highlighted nor discussed in mainstream tv because his wife returned mass media to the oligarchs. with that,its like telling them to keep this hideous fact a secret and brainwash people to see ninoy as a hero, not a communist

      1. He died trying to improve the lives of Filipino’s, doesn’t that qualify for hero status? it doesn’t matter which political ‘PARTY’ he belonged to, does it? Who cares? In case you MIGHT not know, Political Idea-ology is more a way to divide people than anything else. REMEMBER, together we stand, divided we fall.
        Here is an idea: join the WILD party, the rest of them are BORING.

      2. There was no alliance between Ninoy and the NPA. As a politician operating in the area with NPA, you cannot afford to be hostile to them. Everyone knows that the NPA are as ruthless and barbaric as the military. Here is a portion of the interview of JOMA about Ninoy as provided for one of the commenters here.

        “Salas claims that Aquino helped open up the Isabela region to the NPA via his connection with Faustino Dy. Is this a claim you can confirm?

        JMS Answer: At that time Faustino Dy was indeed pro-Ninoy against Marcos. But it was not Ninoy who introduced the NPA to then Cauayan mayor Dy. It was Ka Ruben Tuason, a peasant leader and member of the CPP Central Committee, who introduced the NPA to Dy. Ruben and Dy had been boyhood friends in Tarlac. Prior to the introduction of the NPA to Dy, the CPP had already deployed a team of cadres headed by Ka Eddie Layug to do expansion work initially among the ex-Huks in the NARRA and forest region of Isabela. I had the honor of giving political education to the said team of cadres in Tarlac before it was dispatched to Isabela.

        8. In my fieldwork in Hacienda Luisita, residents told me that the hacienda served as a safe haven for NPA troops in the 1970s. Can you confirm this? If it is true, did Aquino play a role in opening up Luisita?

        JMS Answer: Hacienda Luisita is a big place of several thousands of hectares. It was an area of mass work by the NPA. The peasants and farm workers welcomed the NPA. Ninoy did not have to open the place for the NPA. But certainly it was helpful that Ninoy was not known to be hostile to the NPA. His local loyalists did not run to the military to report the presence of the NPA.

    2. Sad to say, but that’s one shortcoming of the Filipino we have not quite risen above. An acute sense of regionalism that keeps the Philippine nation from achieving that cohesiveness necessary to optimize its devclopment.

  3. How come the whole world knows about Ninoys “true self” and not the Filipinos? That said, very enlightening article

  4. So it was really true that the Aquinos had connections with the commies, this time, from the eyes of a commie himself.

    This is one thing that most Pinoys don’t know.

    1. Point of clarification, term “commie” must be limited within the context of Jose Maria Sison and the movement that toed his line. The reason there occurred a split in the said movement was precisely that there was widespread rejection of his re-affirm. Nothing must be construed as to mean that “commie” is evil. What was evil from the point of view of Kirk was in Sison’s fooling the Filipino people that his movement was for liberating the nation from US imperialism. In fact, according to Kirk’s view, it had been mainly just to demonize Marcos and pave the way for Ninoy’s drive for the Presidency. Communism, I would hasten to add, is not bad.

      1. Hmmm… thanks for the correction… appreciate it much! 🙂 and great article by the way… thanks to ‘Kirk’ 🙂

        1. This kind of comment smacks of the sterling attitude of a man. A jewel that shines forth from a sorry heap of arrogance, pretentiousness and empty braggadocio.

          Many thanks, scalaberch.

        2. or more likely, communism has failed to be observed by people…

          See what I said, because you’ve got that sterling attitude, you hit the issue right on the head.

          Communism is a way of life – in your precise term, scalaberch, something people must observe but have not quite done so.

          Being such, a way of life where pure love and camaraderie reign among men, communism is anathema to a system that thrives and endlessly fattens on oppression and exploitation of the working class, not just in one country but also the world over — capitalism,or to put it in worldwide context as Lenin did, imperialism. Capitalism has reached the summit of its development and must now promote a culture of hate, rage, violence and savagery by man against man on this the eve of capitalism’s inevitable self=demise. Whether in natural or social science, everything has its inherent point of implosion.

          The downfall of socialist regimes, as in Russia and China, and their return to capitalism higlights one glaring fact about communism: that it is not a question of the working class seizing political power and eventually leading that political power to a withering away in order to bring about that classless, self-governing humanity. Seizure of political power will never lead to that stage of social classlessness and pure love and camaraderie and genuine justice, because in every such seizure there will always arise a caste of bureaucrats who will apportion the fruits of political power all to themselves. This is the fact which moputhpieces of capitalism endlessly harp on in promoting the obstinacy of their masters to cling on to anything by which to stay their extinction.

          But as scalaberch now correctly perceives, albeit in a question, “or more likely, communism has failed to be observed by people…”

          Indeed, because communism has been wrongly preached as to come about only at the end of a long, long violent class struggle.

          Such a preaching can only redound to the benefit of capitalism itself, for by not being overthrown now but at the end of that long, long class struggle, capitalism stays well in place.

          The thing to do, as scalaberch implies, observe communism here and now… here and now… here and now…

          How to do it, scalaberch, we can discuss in a discreet manner.

        3. @Mauro

          Your commment

          “Communism is a way of life – in your precise term, scalaberch, something people must observe but have not quite done so.”

          It’s not a way of life. It’s an ideology to dictate the way to live. IMO.

          But I can provide you later with the links.

        1. Utterly, it seems, if I may add. But that’s true only as far as the conventional thinking on communism is concerned. What is such thinking? That communism is that stage of social development to follow after what Lenin called the “withering” away of the state, in turn to come about from the installation of the working class as the new ruling class or the dictatorship of the proletariat. What the world has known so far was such dictatorship or what is popularly called socialism. When we say communism also failed, we are really referring to socialism as that in Russia and in China which has sled back to capitalism. As to communism, it has never been reached yet really, and so it is wrong to say “communism also failed”. Communism, I sincerely believe, is still doable. One only needs to get out of the box in thinking how it may finally be brought about.

        2. If you would want me to qualify my original statement, at large scales communism is unattainable. It is doable at small scales–the community level (as it is meant to be: note their common root word, pun unintended)–and should be left at that.

        3. ALL forms of government eventually fail, look at the West now. CORRUPTION, is the reason as well, it is killinG Europe’s southern states. AND capitalism did not kill the USSR, the CIA, among others first destabilized it, then….

        4. Joe,

          Good God! You really have to stop putting your faith in conspiracy theories that portray the CIA as some omnipotent entity that is secretly monitoring everyone’s Internet activity.

          In spite of what Hollywood may have led you to believe, NO SINGLE CIA OPERATION directly caused the Soviet Union’s downfall. Nor did the machinations of evil “capitalists.” The immediate cause WAS economic. This comes down to two factors — the Soviets lost the ARMS RACE with the United States and second, it simply could not compete in the international market. Much of the production in the USSR was devoted to military spending to keep up with US weapons systems (quantity and capability) and economic support for its Communist brethren such as Cuba. This latter effort was mainly to prove that a Socialist/Communist state could function just as well as a Democratic one with a free market economy. Against western companies that thrived on competition and innovation, the centralized Soviet economy could do nothing but fail. Antiquated systems, with no impetus to innovate or improve production, failed to produce quality goods and service either for domestic consumption or export. As a result Soviet consumers turned to imports to satisfy their needs. This in turn resulted in a trade imbalance. Coupled with the priority for the massive war spending, there was no way for the Soviet economy to make up the difference.

          That is why when Mikhail Gorbachev got his first real look at the state of the Soviet economy he realized they could not continue policies which had been failing for decades. In 1985 upon becoming General Secretary, he announced that the Soviet economy was stalled and that reorganization was needed. However, his proposals for economic reform were designed primarily to prop up the centrally planned economy, not as a transition to market socialism or even the weird hybrid model China implements today.

          It did not help either that within the Soviet Union, there was a lack of honest information. As a hallmark of a militaristic, totalitarian state, secrecy and propaganda were central to their way of life. Economic and political news were routinely distorted. It was said that you could find truth anywhere except in Pravda and the news anywhere except in Izvestia. This is especially damaging when contrasted with news and propaganda being broadcast from Radio Free Europe and by dissidents in Samizdat.

          All this had the effect of creating a general feeling of depression among the people. This breeds distrust and social discontent, which in turn fueled the eventual sociopolitical instability the USSR experienced.

          History (from 1985-1991) shows us the rest that happened. It is very well documented.

          The CIA can hardly take credit for the outcome of a system initiated by the Soviets that was doomed to fail from the outset. Unless you know something the rest of the world doesn’t?

          I’ll ask the same question as I did in MGS’ previous post: WHERE IS YOUR PROOF?

      2. hehehe… the communism in china is going western by openng up their main cities to capitalism…. communist russia had long deteriorated… but capitalist america, though deteriorating, is still a big force to reckon with… enough of those misty eyed dreamers of “proletarian” leadership.. it’s a myth. recent china purged showed that their leaders are as corrupt as the capitalist countries.. but the plus in capitalist democracy, the crooks get booted out sooner….

        1. Look JOHNNY, I did not say they are omnipotent,YOU DID! OK? neither did I say they monitor everyones’ internet activity, DUDE!Mis-quote me and then ask for proof,HA HA HA!!Just this once:Here’s your proof JOHNNY,a brief example as I have better things to do than explain the OBVIOUS TO YOU! ONE small example,
          1973 USA, the wheat embargo on the USSR(perpetrated by guess who?), was engineered at a time during the ‘cold-war'(an arms chase,not an arms race…do you know what that means JOHNNY,DO YA? DUH!).The CIA’s attempts to de-stabilize the USSR by having its citizens over-throw the government that could not put bread on supermarket shelves in MOSCOW(not to mention the entire country!),BUT at the same time USA small town family farmers had a surplus(dropping the price of wheat per bushel,(understand JOHNNY?)) that they could not gladly sell to USSR. The farmer went bankrupt causing the family farm into CORPORATE hands and forcing MOM n POPS farmers into the cities to collect welfare, and the other end of the idea was ,as I said but will repeat(just for you, slow one!), to have the USSR citizens revolt(I am not going to state what would happen if they did,as intended,but did not happen until 16 yrs. later!).
          The perpetraitor being the CIA, backed by congressional support in the USA(economic treason against MOM n POPS farmers (OK JOHHNNY?).
          So to use your words JOHNNY, that seems pretty OMNIPOTENT,HUH?
          I am not going to respond to your loser questions anymore. YOU are OBVIOUSLY too smart to understand what I do not need to explain. Go outthink yourself and pat yourself on the back ,and stop asking me questions that you should know the answers to.

        2. JOE,

          Apparently you aren’t familiar with the use of exaggeration in writing to emphasize the point I was trying to convey.

          But you are correct in part of your assessment. You shouldn’t be giving disjointed, incoherent, rambling tirades that fail to impart anything other than snippets of facts taken out of context.

          I’m confused — were you explaining that the wheat embargo single-handedly caused the USSR to collapse or that the CIA committed an act of war on US citizens? Which is it?

          At any rate you are also partially correct in that the US congress has to be aware of any undertaking the the White House does with regard to America’s enemies. That includes economic warfare as well as military action. Also — intelligence and disinformation operations by the CIA. All of which were directed against the Soviet Union. Intelligence gathering, in particular, is essential to enable the president of the US to formulate policy in dealing with both allies and enemies.

          Still, your narrow minded perspective failed to draw any direct link between CIA operations and the downfall of the Soviet Union. Nothing you wrote here falls outside the category of the conduct of the normal business of government.

          Stop trying to sound like you know anything more than what you read of the back of a matchbook.

        3. I forgot to mention the failed policies that led to disasters like the Chernobyl meltdown. And the cost of protracted war in Afghanistan that was supposed to create a bulwark between the Soviet Union and the rising Islamic fundamentalist threat from Iran.

          I suppose, according to you, those never played a part in anything that led to the collapse of the Soviet system. Then again, Congressman Charlie Wilson did support the CIA operation to arm the mujahideen.

        4. I said I would explain one thing for you,JOHNNY,ONE! and you must feel sooo proud of yourself for that remarkable put down at the end of your 2nd comment,HUH?
          as if a scant look in the rear view mirror, as well as 10 minutes of typing out a brief synopsis of happenings from 40 yrs. ago (for your needed illustrative purposes only) could be gleaned from the back of anything.
          Just stop, your embarrassing yourself, and if you need more of that proof you asked me for, just look at what you said right before you mentioned the U.S. congressman’s name and your statement right after it. WOW, that sounds like you might a have a clue huh? Kwick, go get it! DUH!

        5. JOE,


          Figured you would zero in on that.

          Sorry to disappoint you but the Afghan conflict, while it was a costly engagement for the Soviet Union that was demoralizing at home, contributed only marginally to the decline of the Soviet system. Were the CIA in Afghanistan? Yes. So were the Saudis, the Pakistanis and the British MI6 and SAS. Iran, Egypt, even the People’s Republic of China had programs to assist the mujahideen. The reality is that in the wake of the botched Iran hostage rescue, the American CIA had become skittish and had fewer than ten operatives in the region and minimal direct contact with the Afghan fighters.

          Although America’s Operation Cyclone was documented as the longest, most expensive covert operation to date, subsequent studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology showed that the conflict achieved only a relatively minimal effect in raising Soviet defense costs. The real damage comes from the USSR’s failure to compete economically with the rest of the world, culminating with the sharp decline in the 1980s. The cumulative effect of the “containment” strategy implemented by the US going back to 1972 as well as the severing of ties with former allies like Egypt also put pressure on the Soviets.

          By the time Gorbachev came to power, the Soviet economy suffered from both hidden inflation and pervasive supply shortages aggravated by an increasingly open black market that undermined the official economy. Additionaly, the costs of superpower status — the military, space program, subsidies to client states — were no longer sustainable. The new industries based on information technology had left the Soviet Union desperate for Western technology and credits in order to counter its increasing backwardness. By 1991, failed reforms resulted in the USSR’s dissolution.

        6. There’s this Reagan policy. Remember Sovie collapsed during Reagan’s term –

          “From the outset, Reagan moved against détente and beyond containment, substituting the objective of encouraging “long-term political and military changes within the Soviet empire that will facilitate a more secure and peaceful world order”, according to an early 1981 Pentagon defense guide. Harvard’s Richard Pipes, who joined the National Security Council, advocated a new aggressive policy by which “the United States takes the long-term strategic offensive. This approach therefore contrasts with the essentially reactive and defensive strategy of containment”. Pipes’s report was endorsed in a 1982 National Security Decision Directive that formulated the policy objective of promoting “the process of change in the Soviet Union towards a more pluralistic political and economic system”. [The quotes from Peter Schweizer, Reagan’s War.]”

        7. Trosp,

          Reagan’s policies were a natural progression of the “containment” policies initiated by Pres. Nixon. It’s my personal philosophy that if there will be violence, I am not going to be the one to start it, but, given the opportunity, I will end it. And make sure it does not recur. Look at the sequence of events in totality. This is what is happening here. If Nixon were still in power in 1981-1989, he would have likely come to the same conclusion.

          Moreover, the aggressive posture of Reagan’s America is, in part, a response to the weakening of the US under his predecessor, Jimmy Carter. An economic crisis, military failures, the Iran hostage crisis and lack of support from US lawmakers made Carter weak and ineffectual both at home and abroad.

          Whatever strategy Reagan adopted was merely the cap of a process that was ongoing up to a decade before he became president of the US.

          Here’s the story:

          In the 1970’s oil prices rose because of the Arab oil embargo and the Iranian revolution. Sales from oil and gas allowed the Kremlin to prop up inefficient industries in the Soviet Union as well as the economies of their client states like Cuba. And it convinced them it was a good idea to invade Afghanistan. With the Soviets importing practically everything since the 1960’s the state extended subsidies to virtually all aspects of the economy, based entirely on oil revenues. There was no local manufacturing or any other productive endeavor. That served them well for about 15 years. By the 1980’s and early 1990’s oil prices started to drop (at one point dropping as low as $17 a barrel in 1991). The Soviets resorted to massive borrowing from abroad to make up the shortfall. However, oil prices and production continued to drop and by the time Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in 1985, no reforms could save the USSR’s calcified economy to a point where it could compete with Europe and the US either commercially or militarily. When the Saudis to step up production that same year, the collapse of the overextended, petrified Soviet empire was assured.

          This is what won America the Cold War. I suppose in a way the conservation movement in America and Europe had more to do with winning the war than any arms race. Whatever political/military strategy Richard Pipes came up with was only part of the economic competition that existed between the two ideologies.

        8. Typing too fast.

          This is meant to read:

          “When the Saudis announced they were going to step up production that same year, the collapse of the overextended, petrified Soviet empire was assured.”

      3. Nonsense. Let’s create a country called Erronia. In the spirit of the communist ideal all the citizens of Erronia share all property equally, in other words, everything belongs to the state. Since I’m a farmer the people of Erronia allow me to work on a hectare of land growing food for the people. I’m very excited about our glorious new nation and the first year I work hard for the people and apply my experience and knowledge to produce a bumper crop.
        At harvest time, members from the Party come and take all the produce except for what my family needs. The rest is distributed equally among the people of the great state of Erronia.
        Since I have contributed so much to the people I feel justified in asking for a few things like clothing and medicine for my children. The members of the Party tell me they can give me clothing for my children but there is a shortage in the sizes that fit them correctly. Apparently the clothing manufacturer made too many size 10 and not enough size 12 but they will fix that next year.
        At the next planting interval my enthusiasm has waned a bit. I worked very hard last year and produced an abundance of excellent food for the people and in return my children received ill fitting clothes. So, I’ll do my duty but it’s unlikely the harvest will be as large this time.
        The scenario repeats year after year. One year I can’t get enough toilet paper and the next year I can’t fix the roof on my barn because the Party decided it’s more important to fix the roof on the shoe factory. The year after that my tractor breaks but I can’t get all the parts I need to fix it properly. As a result, each year the Party receives less and less food.
        Finally, a representative from the Party tells me I must increase my quota “for the good of the people”. He says that regardless of how much my farm produces they will take the amount specified in the quota. I protest that there may not be enough for my family but he tells me that is my problem. This type of environment can only get me to work as hard as I need to in order to avoid getting imprisoned or shot but I’m not going to put any creative thought or ingenuity into my work. I meet the quota but those ears of corn are looking pretty bad.
        On it goes, year after year and the great nation of the people of Erronia produces fewer and fewer products. The products it does make are of sub-standard quality because the workers just don’t seem to care very much. There are shortages of all kinds. Then the riots begin and the state retaliates.
        Viva la revolution!

        This is the only eventual outcome of a communist state because communism denies the basics of human nature.

  5. “Benigno Aquino Sr., aka “Igno,” was a long-time
    Filipino politician. During the Second World War, he
    served as Speaker of the National Assembly in the
    Japanese-controlled government. Following the
    expulsion of the Japanese, the U.S. jailed Igno in
    Japan , then extradited him to the Philippines to be
    tried for treason. He died of a heart attack in
    December of 1947″ asean history

    the aquinis have always hidden tge truth and perpetuated a myth.
    p-noy is maybe like hus grandfather, who of course is never mentioned for obvious reasons. and people still question the “heart attack” story.

    1. if you read hard enough the trust of the article, is that something was wrong with american interference in the affairs of the filipinos… but when america jailed those who crossed over the japanese camp, we hailed america as benefactor and liberator… both are imperialists who subjugated the filipino people.. they both killed hundreds of filipinos, the insurectos during the american pacification (1898-1902) campaign, including the moros,in (1902-1913) and the guerilla and guerilla symphatizers and civilians during the 4 years of japanese rule.

    1. You could find the picture of a lot of other people too, if you look at the right dictionary.
      If theft of public funds, using influence to win gov’t. contracts is Corruption, is that also meeting the threshold of ‘traitor/betrayer’ of the public and its assets. The piggy-bank is looted regularly, all ya gotta do is….

  6. That Marcos was dethroned because he was going against Uncle Sam… and that they found a new proxy in Cory.. Fact or Fiction?

    “It was Spence more than anyone else, with his military background, who gave the heroic Marcos legend a ring of validity when his biography “For Every Tear A Victory” was published in New York during the Philippine presidential campaign of 1964-65, which first carried Ferdinand and Imelda into Malacanang Palace.The Spence book was widely distributed to American newspapers and magazines, to embassies, and to U.S. government agencies and U.S. government agencies. It was not clearly recognized that Marcos had tailored some information for the occasion. While some readers may have been suspicious, the mood in New York and Washington at the time was preconditioned to support Marcos, as the latest proxy brought forward in years of CIA manipulation in Manila, in Manila, and as part of LBJ’s desperate maneuvers to save face in Vietnam. Soon the most respected journals in America were repeating the gospel according to Spence, quoting long passages or summarizing his assertions as if they were palpable facts. After that, who was to challenge the authenticity of the Marcos legend?

    Ferdinand learned a lot about presidential politics from Lyndon Johnson’s example, as he had learned much from Douglas MacArthur about enhancing a military career. While MacArthur kept a public relations team busy full time identifying him as the hero of Bataan (to the private disgust of Dwight Eisenhower), President Johnson invented a grandfather who died heroically at the Alamo. Johnson then had no difficulty enlarging a minor incident in the Gulf of Tonkin into m excuse to escalate the Vietnam War. The same President Johnson had no problem praising President Marcos for faked heroics in Bataan, and did not hesitate to offer Marcos an open purse to back his Vietnam policy.

    Many years later, several journalists finally gained access to long-hidden documents in the National Archives that exposed the fakery of the Marcos war record. They discovered that his claims had been investigated by the U.S. Army after World War II and were found to be false and “criminal.” But these U.S. Army findings were tucked away for thirty-five years by the Pentagon, which resisted every effort to examine them, quite possibly with the approval of the White House or even at its instigation. Three presidents of the United States—Johnson, Nixon, and Reagan—publicly commended Marcos for wartime acts of valor that had been denounced repeatedly in the Philippine Congress over the years as sheer fabrication. The Marcos war hero fraud was ignoble enough, but Washington’s apparent readiness to cover it up and capitalize on his vanity was far more cynical.

    For these and many other reasons, the truth about Ferdinand Marcos is all the more interesting for what it reveals about others. It was easy to ridicule him after he fell from power, but he was really only a reflection; the insincere smile, the false heartiness, the watery mollusk eyes, the jaundice and puffiness of kidney decay, all looked disturbingly familiar. “While he lasted,” a U.S. military attache in Manila told me, “he was our boy. He was us. Maybe he still is.”

    “Only after the fall was it generally agreed that there was something fishy about him all along.” (Disease of the Heart, Marcos Dynasty, Sterling Seagrave, p. 5).

    1. This guy is really an idiot.

      “That Marcos was dethroned because he was going against Uncle Sam… and that they found a new proxy in Cory.. Fact or Fiction?”

      AH (ass hole), Marcos is always Uncle Sam’s boy.

  7. Wheew…


    If you keep reading MGS, you’ll lost your historical perspective.

    Benigno Aquino Sr., the secretary of interior was far more patriotic than anyone you think… Read it from the expert.

    “Laurel had observed that the moment the provisional Council of State was accepted by the Japanese high command, it would mean the disappearance of the American government and the Commonwealth government, which would be replaced, at least in the occupied territory, by a de facto government — “and it will be as if we had declared President Quezon dismissed as head of state.”

    Aquino rose to remind the gathering that “our brothers are still fighting on the field of battle.” Though the conferees were obliged to state in the reply to Homma that they accepted the fact of the military occupation, “we cannot give an earnest of our trust and loyalty.” He pointed out that no value could be given to the talks with the military high command, unless they were written down on paper. “Granted that our premises are accomplished facts, we will still have to seek justification before history, before America and before our absent authorities. But before all this, our loyalty to our people.”

    In other words, the conferees, though obliged to act against their will by the force of circumstances, must still, to be justified later, remain true to the ideals of history, of America, of the fled leaders, and of the Filipino people; and must try to advance those ideals despite the evil situation: sacar la mejor partida posible, to repeat Yulo’s words. How could this be done?
    Said Aquino: “We should not honor the Japanese government with our trust without first obtaining a specific statement on our ideals of independence.”

    His insistence on a “specific statement” was prompted by the grooving vagueness about emancipating the Philippines that he had noted in the latest Japanese circulars. He bade the conferees compare the Homma proclamation he had quoted from with a recent “notification” from the high command; the current pronouncements of the Japanese were “very much vaguer” than their proclamations when they first arrived. Shades of Dewey! But Aquino was the deputy of the burnt-child generations, once bitten and twice shy, and he wanted it all down in black and white. There must be “distinct negotiations,” said he, with the Japanese.
    “My personal ‘standing’ on the pressure to lend them faith is this: if they recognize our independence, we embrace them — that is, become Japanophiles; but if not, we maintain our ideals and our loyalty to America.”1

    Aquino’s thinking seems to be that collaboration could be justified only if it achieved what Philippine politics was, after all, committed to achieving: national independence; and for this reason he had proposed that the reply to Homma specify that the Filipino officials had decided to cooperate in the maintenance of peace and order only because they had “in mind the independence and freedom of our country.” Because of Maeda’s objections, the word independence was dropped. Aquino insisted, in the January 12 conference, that it be restored. Substitute phrases like “the realization of our great ideals” were, said Aquino, too vague and did not express the true sentiments of the country. Justice Avancena asked if the phrase meant that “we have the idea of putting in the hands of the Japanese the realization of our ideals.” Said Aquino: “Senator Recto and I have explained that with the use of the words independence and liberty, we mean to say that, whatever the situations that fate may afford us, we must give expression to our ideals — that is, the ideal of independence.” But if the Japanese, objected Avancena, were in no position to realize those ideals, why mention them at all? Retorted Aquino to all such objections: “If we have the determination, why not insist of the word independence?”
    What stands out here is that Aquino was insisting on the use of a word that had greatly vexed the Japanese, which he would hardly have done were he already on their side, or had any fear of displeasing them, or any reason for wanting to gain their favor.
    However, the consensus was that the word should stay suppressed (especially after Vargas let drop the news that Governor Cojuangco had been ordered back to Tarlac — “and escorted,” said Aquino grimly, “by Japanese soldiers”) and the approved text of the reply to Homma read: “Having in mind the great ideals, the freedom and happiness of our country, we are ready to obey to the best of our ability and within the means at our disposal the orders issued by the Imperial Japanese Forces for the maintenance of peace and order and the promotion of the well-being of our people under the Japanese military administration.”

    Though Aquino had lost the fight over a word, he was to win what he had fought for: a “specific statement” on Philippine

    The 1skirmishes at No. 353 Penafrancia had evidently been reported to Tokyo, as indications that arch-nationalists in the Philippine oligarchy could be won over by a definite promise of freedom. So, the reply to Homma approved on January 12 and supposed to be delivered on January 14. remained undelivered for over a week. Mieda postponed the formality of its acceptance while the high command n Manila awaited word from Tokyo, where something was cooking. On January 22 Premier Tojo addressed the Diet and announced that Japan would grant independence to the Philippines if it cooperated in establishing the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

    This was, for Aquino, a turning point. The words with which he hailed the Tojo announcement attest to the shock of light on the road to Damascus.

    I believe that the time has come,” said he, “for every Filipino to stop and ponder why our Supreme Creator made us Malays — Orientals and not Europeans or Anglo-Saxons. . . In essence and spirit we are Orientals. “6 Here begins the Aquino whose theme was: “If we sincerely believe that the God we adore is infinitely wise, all-powerful and good, then let us adjust ourselves to his designs and decisions; let us not persist in changing the course of natural laws. . . We belong to the East. “7 The hispanista Aquino, the anti-Gringo Aquino, the independista Aquino, was a deputy of the past; the Aquino on whom dawns a novel Orient has his face turned to a future he will not see, to a time when a blunter breed of Filipinos will bid themselves come home to Asia. But at the time he spoke, his words were heard with horror: the Filipino who would come home to Asia was a “traitor.” (The Aquinos of Tarlac, Nick Joaquin, p. 156-158).

    1. Oh, so Aquino Sr. argued for “independence” therefore he is a patriot? “Independence” back then being no more than a convenient emotional ploy to sway the masses while–for the political and economic elite–really wanting freedom to rule without the annoying foreigners, this doesn’t mean much.

      What makes him different from the others who would side with another invader that promises eventual independence? Being a proponent of Oriental Pride?

      Not a traitor, then, just a tool. Even more pathetic.

      1. Again, you did not get your info from the right source. Please read Nick Joaquin… Over MGS, I can pick him easily. 🙂

        An anomalous typhoon, “the worst to hit Manila in years,” was raging on Christmas Eve, when the body was transferred to the university of Santo Tomas, where, on December 29, the Congress of the Philippines paid tribute to the late solon. He was lauded as “instrumental in the success of the people’s fight for independence.”

        Among the speakers was Claro M. Recto, who would provoke controversy with his oration over the bier. While Aquino, said Recto, was languishing in Sugamo Prison, the allied powers were exculpating Emperor Hirohito from all responsibility for a war of aggression, because Hirohito was valuable to the great powers as a factor in international politics and Aquino was not.

        “You were worthless to them,” said Recto to the bier, “in this game of power politics where they have always wanted to use Filipinos as lackeys, fieldhands and cannon fodder. That is why Hirohito continues on the throne of his glorious ancestors while you were thrown into a prison cell where you got the disease that would take you to the grave.r
        “Benigno Aquino! Divine Providence, in claiming jurisdiction over you, has denied human tribunals the right to judge you. The government in paying you this homage, has cleared you of the calumny heaped upon you without due process of law. And the nation, in associating herselt with this demonstration of grief, proclaims that you have served her well.

        “Rest in peace, faithful servant of your people! When minds have recovered their serenity and intellects their discernment, when your countrymen have learned to live, work and think only for one nation and one flag, without a lackey’s servility or a courtier’s fawning before any foreign power, then they will remember your splendid achievements and the noble example of your nationalism, virile and blameless, and they will call you a true patriot because you were always a true Filipino.” *

        Four days after he died, the case of treason against Aquino was dismissed by the People’s Court. It was the nation’s Christmas gift to his family.

        On the last day of 1947, he was buried in Concepcion. So mammoth was the funeral procession that the head of it was already in the cemetery , outside town while the tail of it was still in the church.

        Benigno Aquino differs from his contemporaries in that, culturally and spiritually, he was never of the American era. Even Osmena and Recto finally yielded and learned to speak American, but Aquino stayed unassimilated to the last; and his baffled funeral orators tried to defiine this difference in quality as “Latin.” Thus to the alienated appeared the culture of their fathers, which to Aquino was pure authentic Filipino. It has been said of Ricarte that he was no traitor because he had never sworn allegiance to the American flag and, when he came back with the Japanese invader, thought himself to be merely fulfilling an old dream of the Propaganda and continuing the Revolution. In a kindred manner, Aquino owed no allegiance to the American empire because, without having to go into exile, he was an outsider to it, still living in the world of the Revolution and all his life intent on pushing its interests. He was its deputy to the end.

        He whose piety carried the past forward would have the blessing of being himself carried forward, for Benigno Aquino’s odysseys were to have a happy continuation. The Ulysses who raged because the alien were on his turf, squatting in his hall and eating up his substance, has had, to the health of his name, a Telemachus to pick up the odyssean bow.” (The Aquinos of Tarlac, Nick Joaquin, p. 182-83).

        1. Fast forward that death while watching a boxing match at Rizal Stadium to 1983 Tarmac hideous rubout of Ninoy – both resulted to outpouring of grief of a grateful nation over their beloved sons.

          Here is Nick Joaquin again.

          “Daddy (Antonio, Ninoy’s brother speaking) said he had to be accused by the guerrillas because ‘if nobody
          accused me the Japanese would never believe I was working for them.” So he made it appear he was hated by the guerrillas, so the Japanese would open up to him. And he saved a lot of guerrillas in Fort Santiago. In fact, Primicias partly owes his life to my father, and so did Roxas. He was instrumentalin getting information from the Japanese high command to us. We were in the USAFFE; we had organized our allied intelligence here in Manila, which was one of the areas of command. We had our headquarters on top of a building near Malacanang
          and we had access to Malacanang because of the Laurels. Pepito espe-
          cially, and my father. So we have all the information when we started printing our clandestine. Daddy supplied us with information-movements of Japanese troops, etc: After that time he was seemingly collaborating with the Japanese, since you’d never get the Japanese to give you a certain degree of faith unless they knew you were their man.

          But even then he was very strict in his belief that the best thing for the
          Philippines was to be independent. Whether it came from the Japanese
          or the Americans, he said, there was nothing better than independence.
          Oh. they have accused him of everything. They have never accused him
          of nationalism.”

          But endorsement by the guerrillas would hardly clarify the “story
          behind the whole thing,” because, as Renato Constantino points out, the
          resistance of the guerrillas was based on the certainty that the Americans
          would win the war: “For them, freedom meant that which they had
          known under the Americans; so they fought for American victory instead
          of seizing the opportunity to fight for their own freedom as their forbears
          had done at the turn of the century.
          And Benigno Aquino’s “tragedy” was that he seized the opportunity. (The Aquinos of Tarlac, p. 116-117).

      2. “Right” source? What you have from Nick Joaquin are testimonies from people. Just as MGS has testimonies from other people.

        1. @louche, MGS,

          The difference Touche is that Nick Joaquin’s witnesses gave their account in a “freer environment.” The witnesses against Ninoy Aquino that he was a communist organizer/sympathizer/financier were given by people during martial law. Some of these witnesses even testified in the Marcos Military tribunal which earned Ninoy a death sentence. After testifying, some of the witnesses miraculously disappeared. Whether they disappeared so they can no longer recant their testimonies or they were silenced because they testified against Ninoy would depend on one’s bias. But during his imprisonment, Ninoy was penniless and helpless, while the Marcos bandwagon continues to feast on the largesse of the State.

        2. I compare Ninoy’s trial before the military tribunal to that of the trial by the Magdalo court over Bonifacio and his brother.

        3. There is no reply tag in jcc’s comment after this, so may I post my reaction in your comment box, or whatever you call it.

          Just to satisfy jcc, the very first time I heard anything about the Ninoy-CPP liaison was sometime in he late 70s. The late Fernando Poe, Jr. commissioned me to do a screenplay of the life of Luis Taruc and so I got a schedule for interviewing the Huk Supremo. In explaining the split Kumander Dante did from the Huk, the venerable revolutionary leader spoke of the incident where Ninoy Aquino had arranged a meeting between Jose Maria Sison and Kumander Dante and in that meeting, it was agreed that a new communist party would be formed along with a new guerilla army. The only thing I wish to point here is that the interview with Mr. Taruc took under absolutely free circumstances. There is no reason to believe that Mr. Taruc was speaking under duress.

          The next occasion I got information on the Ninoy-CPP/NPA link, was in 1986, a short while after Cory had ascended to the presidency and had released, being among her first acts in office, Jose Maria Sison and Kumander Dante. Again for the purpose of writing a screenplay, I arranged an interview with Kumander Dante. In that interview, he admitted the meeting between him and Jose Maria Sison which was arranged by Ninoy in Hacienda Luisita. In both interviews, it was also admitted by Mr. Taruc and Kumander Dante that Governor Apin Yap was Ninoy’s main emissary in having the two meet. (“Apin” was how I heard the name; in his inerview by Lisandro Claudio, Sison puts it “Apeng”.) Again, in the latter interview with Kumander Dante, there was absolutely free atmosphere.

    2. That’s exactly my mission. To disabuse people’s minds of the historical perspective that Ninoy is a hero. He is not.

      1. The Taruc-Ninoy meeting was to convince the former to surrender.

        The Dante-Ninoy meeting did not give any information that Dante admitted Ninoy being their financier. The NPA commanders/witnesses that say Ninoy provided them arms did not come from Dante. It came from other NPA ‘commanders, ‘Pusa’ or Bilog who were liquidated later.

        That Ninoy is not a hero is a question of perception… We considered Gen. Sakay and Ricarte traitors also and not heroes. You even consider Lincoln a lesser mortal compared to Marcos.

        1. I never mentioned about a Ninoy-Taruc meeting, did I? Ar any rate, on such meeting being for convincing Taruc to surrender, I’ve had education enough to still need the clarification you make.

          And as to the Dante-Ninoy meeting saying anything about Ninoy being Dante’s financier, again I’ve made no statements whatsoever or references to that effect.

          As to Ninoy’s heroism being a question of perception, thank you for finally agreeing with the proposition I simply wished to advance in citing Rashomon: that truth is, just as you say now, a question of perception. You believe Ninoy is a hero, I give that to you. But don’t deride me for believing that he is not. Perception, thank you.

        2. MGS,

          You were being incoherent… Please read the previous threads. It was your position that Ninoy was a CPP-NPA financier. And I said those who said he was testified in the Military Tribunal and suddenly vanished. And that these people talked about Ninoy involvement in the CPP-NPA during martial law when the atmosphere was not “free”. Then your rebuttal was that the JOMA-Ninoy and Dante-Ninoy meeting was done outside Martial law atmosphere therefore they were free to talk. But I said those meetings did not have the information that Ninoy was financing the CPP-NPA.

          Then you agree that those meetings did not reveal that Ninoy was implicated as a financier of the CPP-NPA.

          Wake up MGS!

      2. @MGS;
        Let us engage in intellectual masturbation.

        Edgar Jopson and countless young communist cadres who died in the frontline during the repressive years of Marcos were considered heroes by the left. They will become mainstream heroes if the left triumphed in its crusade. Heroes and villains are time-dependent paradigm.

        Is Aquino a present-day hero?

        Aquino believes that Marcos was the scourge of Philippine democracy and offered himself as an alternative. He died pursuing that dream. Or if he was wrong in the analysis that Marcos was a scourge, was dying in that elusive pursuit makes him a traitor?

        Did we not make Rizal a hero who died for instigating a revolution while he was actually fleeing from it? Had he been for the revolution all along, would his death for supporting it make him less a hero?

        Heroism from my point of view is dying selflessly for a cause you believe in. Rizal died for the cause of the revolution he did not believe in, but we have no problem worshipping him as a hero. Ninoy believe that Marcos was bad for democracy and died for it. Did he do it for personal ambition? Is one’s personal ambition to topple Marcos and restore democracy becomes bad even if it is objectively “good” for democracy?

        Do the majority of the Filipinos share this belief that Marcos was a scourge?

        Is Ninoy, afinancier/sympathizer/coddler of the Huks and CPP-NPA makes him a traitor?

        Marcos represents the state which political theorist Max Weber says nothing but “human community that successfully claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory.”

        “Indeed the modern state seems to be distinguished from its medieval antecedents by an advance beyond exemplary physical punishment of the few to systematic social control over the many. By the eighteenth century the early modern state had sufficient coercive capacities to press-gang peasants or punish enemies in what E. P. Thompson called “the ritual of public execution” with the “corpse rotting on the gibbet beside the highway.” (Policing America’s Empire, p. 20).

        Marcos must have read Weber and Thompson and applied their thesis in unerring domestic practice.

        Let me quote Alfred W. McCoy:

        “Law and order were central to the legitimization of Marcos’s authoritarian regime, which he grandly christened “the New Society.” In the first years after he declared martial law in 1972, his restoration of security won him wide public support and a tenuous political legitimacy, particularly in Manila, where crime and chaos had been most acute under the Republic. During the first years of authoritarian rule, Marcos, then in his prime, proved to be an iron-fisted commander in chief who could control his repressive forces. With characteristic cunning, he divided military authority among trusted subordinates and then played one against the other.2 To fulfill his mandate for order, Marcos centralized police power, merging the hundreds of municipal forces into an Integrated National Police under constabulary control. Although Marcos’s motives were suspect, this new structure represented the first serious attempt in over a century to upgrade the quality of local law enforcement and proved a useful innovation that survived his later fall from power.

        Over the longer term, however, the regime’s reliance on this police power for covert control harbored a fatal contradiction. Along with his imposition of order Marcos created constabulary anti-subversion squads, arming them with both formal decrees and informal impunity to suppress pro-democracy dissidents. After five years of “constitutional authoritarianism,” Marcos’s security squads shifted from formal mass arrests to extrajudicial operations. As his regime’s celebrated “discipline” degenerated into systematic state terrorism and conspicuous corruption, citizens sensed the failure of their Faustian bargain with the dictatorship, swapping democracy for stability, and slowly withdrew their support. Marcos’s legitimacy faded, opposition grew, and in the end his massive police and military apparatus retreated before a million outraged citizens massed on Manila’s streets. Law and order were central to the regime’s early acceptance, but this legitimacy was undermined over time by the same police apparatus that had been used to impose order. In both its rise and demise, Marcos’s authoritarian regime thus rested to a surprising degree on the quality of its policing.

        In this sense the image of Lim Seng’s on-camera execution was an illusion, another act in the dictator’s brilliant use of political theater to mask the contradiction between the image and the reality of martial rule. Lim Seng would become the only criminal legally executed in the fourteen years of martial law. But there would be thousands of extrajudicial killings of labor leaders, student activists, and ordinary citizens, their bodies mangled by torture and dumped for display to induce terror. This practice was so disturbing to the country’s collective consciousness that the Filipino-English dialect coined the neologism salvaging to capture its aura of terror.3 Tens of thousands more were arrested and abused, arousing both domestic opposition and international opprobrium.

        From declaration to decline, Marcos’s martial law regime would also feel the subtle force of Washington’s influence. In planning his demolition of democracy, Marcos consulted the American ambassador who, concerned by the rising opposition to the U.S. bases, lent tacit support. Several years later President Carter, though troubled by Marcos’s abuses, was forced to set aside his human rights concerns to preserve the military bases at Clark Field and Subic Bay. When a democratic opposition challenged Marcos in 1986, the waning of the cold war in Asia had already reduced the strategic value of those bases, allowing the Reagan administration to withdraw support and encourage Marcos’s flight into exile. Throughout the fourteen years of dictatorship, however, Washington ignored the regime’s repression and backed Marcos with military aid and diplomatic support. By allowing the bases to shape bilateral relations, Washington once again found, as it had during the 1950s, that its military and economic aid was diverted to shore up a small Philippine oligarchy against the democratic aspirations of the masses and middle class.” (Policing America’s Empire, p. 397-98)

        Was Ninoy correct in his assessment that Marcos was bad for democracy and wanted him ousted even to the extent, some assumed, forging an alliance with the CPP-NPA? Does not his death awakened the nation in long slumber and made a collective battle-cry, “enough is enough” and ousted the dictator?

        Certain of his death, but braved the tarmac nonetheless, was he not like Rizal’s moth that brave the fire to see the light?

        1. So you see, jcc, with this kind of presentation, you’re such a sane person worth one’s time listening to.

          But I regret that this comment box is too small for my views on Ninoy by which to reply to your intelligent discourse. I would, therefore, recommend to you my essay KNOWING NINOY AQUINO posted in my blog KAMAO in time for the EDSA celebration February 2012. With that I’d feel being given a fair chance to advance arguments viz your own. Since the link of my blog is posted here anyway, readers who might want to follow you there can do so.

          However, on Rizal, there is not an independent piece I have written which I can recommend, so I venture into a little dissertation of my own.

          As a consequence of the development of capitalism in Europe by mid-nineteenth century, the hitherto obtaining encomienda system in the Philippines was transformed into the hacienda system in order to meet the demand for raw materials for capitalistic industries. For instance, large tracts of land were converted to sugar plantations. Under the encomienda system, the Rizals were a landed family and enjoyed an affluent life owing to that. But with the hacienda system in which Spanish friars expropriated lands for themselves, albeit in the name of the faith, the Rizal landholdings were increasingly diminished. Rizal, who was then together with other ilustrados conducting the propaganda for Philippine assimilation into Spain, began writing Noli Me Tangere, which echoed the propaganda line of Filipino representation in the Spanish cortes. The guy named Sagasta (taken from one of the letters of Rizal to his family), on whom the propagandists had pinned their hope of gaining their objective, lost in the election for the post of Prime Minisrer. Frustrated, the propagandists abandoned their cause. Rizal shifted to writing another novel, El Filibusterismo, which called for armed overthrow of the Spanish colonial regime. Still clinging to hope of regaining lands,Rizal, upon returning to the Philippines July 2, 1892, proposed to the governor general that he be allowed to bring 1000 Filipinos with whom to establish a Filipino colony in Borneo. Despujol rejected his proposal. That evening of July 3, 1892, Rizal met up with prominent Filipinos in a Binondo house and there organized the La Liga Filipina. Its purpose was to rise in arms against the colonial regime. The organization was comprised of two levels. On top was the Cuerpo de los Compromisarios, composed of well-to-do Filipinos, tasked with gathering logistics; below, Katipunan, whose task was to organize combatants. Heading the compromisarios was one Don Francisco Roxas Chua; the Katipunan, Abdres Bonifacio. July 7, Rizal was arrested and exiled to Dapitan. For four years, Bonifacio organized the Katipunan, reaching the Ilocos to the north and Bicol to the south, going farther up to Panay. By 1896, Spanish authorities were beginning to learn about the Katipunan. Bonifacio sent Dr. Pio Valenzuela to Dapitan to tell Rizal that the revolution was ready to break out and that he needed the arms the compromisarios were tasked to raise. By this time, Rizal had established a sizeable fortune valued at 1 million pesos. (One account tells of a delivery of guns from Japan consigned to one Don Franciso Roxas Chua, which Bonifacio, upon representation with the ship captain, asked to get but was declined, for which reason Bonifacio decided to send Valenzuela to Rizal.)Rizal agreed to the revolution but demanded that Antonio Luna be the leader. Bonifacio rejected the Rizal demand and decided to declare the revolution against Spain armed only with bolos and bamboo spears. With the outbreak of the revolution on August 22, 1896, startled Filipino rich and ilustrados rushed over to the walled city, professing loyalty to Spain — including Antonio Luna whom Rizal had wanted to lead in the rising. Rizal volunteered to serve in the Spanish army fighting insurgents in Cuba. He was aboard a ship en route to Cuba when arrested and brought back to Manila for trial. In the trial, he was found guilty of sedition and rebellion and was sentenced to die by musketry. Up to his execution at Bagumbayan, Rizal maintained his innocence. He had no part in the revolution that broke out. The Spanish authorities executed him just the same.He began that revolution in the first place.

          So, jcc, here is a bare narrative. No opinions, just bare facts. Judge for yourself, Rizal a hero or not?

          To me, he is not.

        2. Rubbish… Where is your documentary archives that support your position… I will come back to you later complete with citations to disprove your narrative…

  8. Did not the revolution devour its own? Jose Maria Sison and company destroyed thousands of their own comrades during the NPA purges. Remember Oplan Ajos, Oplan Zombie and Oplan Missing Link? Their kasama were tortured, murdered and buried in mass graves. Read the book: “Suffer Thy Comrades.” I do not believe in a communist civil war. It will never solve the problems of this country. If Jose Maria Sison and his followers can purge their own, they can purge the Sovereign Filipino People. The political opportunism of the Aquinos was revealed by Jose Maria Sison in his own website.

    1. To elaborate, outstanding revelations in the links are the following:

      1 ) Sison has a hard time distancing himself from Ninoy despite obvious evidences indicating a closer relationship he had with Ninoy than meets the eye;

      2 ) Ninoy regularly updates the US embassy of his dealings with the CPP, the political situation in the Philippines, particularly the insurgency, his political plans, etc., much like a soldier to his superior. This mirrors a kind of relationship Ninoy had with the US that needed coursing through the US embassy regularly, quite similar to that done by undercover agents of the CIA; and

      3 ) The liaison between Ninoy and Sison began when, by his own admission, Ninoy realized that Marcos planned to stay in power. That liaison resulted to the establishment of the CPP and the NPA.

  9. Thanks 4 the history lesson, but to call for a civil-war? On what grounds, cessation from the country? Which parts against which parts? De-centralizing the gov’t. would have a dramatic effect on the economy, winners and losers all around,ruined/devalued currency.The military would get involved somehow, KILLING fellow Filipino’s? AND EXACTLY what would a real civil-war achieve? The ousting of the current gov’t. would still need to be replaced,WITH WHAT? it may be the form of gov’t. that is the problem, is this wishful thinking?
    AND how, at what cost, and who is going to have the balls to do it? as if the military would not get involved? a foreign gov’t. as well?(which one(S)?) With a country as fragile as the republic of the Philippines current state of state, it would most likely be a catastrophic, bloody-mess, and ruin what little chance the people have at a better life, for the forsee-able future anyway. Although , at present, the chance at a better life is more an elusive dream, than any reality.
    SO, who wants to lose what? AND, if SO: WHAT R U GONNA DO? Talk is cheap, REAL CHEAP. War is expensive.

    1. With his concluding question “Civil war,anyone?”, what Kirk is debunking was a comment to my previous post that the Jose Maria Sison “uprising” was a civil war. From his narration it was clear that in the end he realized that the rebellion was launched by Sison and his ilk not to fight US imperialism but to advance Ninoy’s ambition to become president. The question would otherwise just say: What civil war are you talking about? There was none. But then people has a way of saying things. They call it style. Give it to them. There’s not much effort really in examining the nuance of a statement. Mental exercise, good for the the brain.

      1. hehehe… Ninoy was a rich politician.. Why would he advance a communist agenda? He shed though his ‘politician’s culture during his imprisonment and became a statesman just like his grandfather and father…. people who have their own politican bias would look to the Aquinos as the traitors, but historians adjugdged them otherwise.

        They would even fault Ninoy for Cory’s ‘turn-over’ of Meralco to the Lopezes. That is ‘free enterprise’ for you. The Lopezes owned that outfit. Marcos grabbed the Lopez businesses during martial law. These enterprises did not benefit the people while in the hands of Marcos and his cronies. Now that they were restored to their rightful owners, we extend the fault, if it can be considered a fault, even to Ninoy who was already dead.

      2. MGS,

        You never did define the term “civil war.” Is that not the heart of your argument? That the conflict in the Philippines does not meet the requirement of “civil war” because, as you postulate, it was merely a political maneuver to secure the presidency for Ninoy Aquino. This according to you, did not meet the criteria for “civil war.”

        James Fearon, of the Peace Research Endowment, defines a civil war as “a violent conflict within a country fought by organized groups that aim to take power at the center or in a region, or to change government policies.” Ann Hironaka (author of “Never-ending Wars: The International Community, Weak States, and the Perpetuation of Civil War”) specifies that in any civil war, one side of the conflict is the state.

        Hironaka identifies two theories which explain the causes of civil war. The first is “GREED.” The conflict is started because it is in the economic best interests of individuals and groups who start them. The second is “GRIEVANCE.” The conflict is caused by who people are defined in terms of ethnicity, religion, ideology or other social affiliation. Analysis shows that economic and structural factors are more important than those of identity in predicting occurrences of civil war.

        By this definition the violent struggle against various anti-government resistance movements across sixty years and ten administrations satisfies the criteria for civil war. Including Jose Maria Sison and Bernabe Buscayno’s Maoist political-military strategy of a “protracted people’s war.”

        1. I agree Johnny Saint… Even Alfred W. McCoy looked at the Hukbahalap movement and the NPA and MILF uprisings as a form of civil war.

        2. First off, thank you for the info. I did come across some definitions of civil war but on final thought, I don’t think they figure here. The definitions you give seem limited to form. My particular concern on the subject is substance. And in this regard, the classic civil wars, American civil war, Chinese civil war, etc., have a common substance of being a people’s struggle. My question in this is, was the Sison-led uprising a people’s war? I say, none such. And I feel greatly indebted to one current commenter, Thomas Jefferson, who provided links containing information generally confirming my assertions in the current article as well as in the two previous ones. Please be gladly informed as I am

          On the connection of Ninoy to the founding of the CPP/NPA, I initially got years ago from personal interviews with Luis Taruc and Kumander Dante and conversations with Kumander Bilog. With Taruc and Dante, it did not occur to me to put the interview details on record as they were not meant for posterity, rather for doing movies on their lives. As the film projects never materialized, details from the interviews were never documented in any manner. I was lucky enough though that at least in the interview with Dante, I had the editor of a reputable broadsheet with me. If ever my assertions are seriously questioned, I have the editor’s testimony to verify them. With Thomas’ links, proving my assertions is no longer a problem. Let me then reiterate what I have already stated in reply to Thomas:
          1 ) Sison has a hard time distancing himself from Ninoy despite obvious evidences indicating a closer relationship he had with Ninoy than meets the eye;

          2 ) Ninoy regularly updates the US embassy of his dealings with the CPP, the political situation in the Philippines, particularly the insurgency, his political plans, etc., much like a soldier to his superior. This mirrors a kind of relationship Ninoy had with the US that needed coursing through the US embassy regularly, quite similar to that done by undercover agents of the CIA; and

          3 ) The liaison between Ninoy and Sison began when, by his own admission, Ninoy realized that Marcos planned to stay in power. That liaison resulted to the establishment of the CPP and the NPA.

          So to the question whether or not the Sison/Ninoy-led rebellion was a civil war, I quote Kirk’s own words: “How then could EDSA have blown up into a civil war when the events that led up to it had from the very beginning been crafted only to advance one man’s magnificent obsession with the presidency!”

          With that I rest my case.Thank you.

        3. I’m sorry, I cannot agree.

          The Communist Party of the Philippines under Jose Maria Sison has as its stated political aim, a REVOLUTION leading toward the eventual establishment of a socialist state. Sison, himself, discusses this in his book “Philippine Society and Revolution.” The profound transformation of both the political and economic policies of the Philippines qualifies as the first part of the definition of “civil war.” The insurgencies carried out by the party’s guerrilla wing — the NPA — constitute their worker-peasant revolutionary war in the countryside, specifically targeting landlords and business owners. This is the second part of the definition. Taken together, this is a textbook example of civil war.

          Whatever role Ninoy Aquino may or may not have played in all this, there are two aspects of his character that stand out. One, that Ninoy was a dedicated patriot who, according to Lisandro Claudio, “would stop at nothing to challenge a morally bankrupt regime that had betrayed the will of the people.” Two, Ninoy was a calculating political humbug whose burning ambition would have led him to do anything — even foment a violent civil war and risk the lives of thousands of Filipinos — to achieve the presidency. That we are debating this today shows the matter has hardly been settled.

          Perhaps it is in the terminology that we use. That there is a CIVIL WAR in the Philippines I have no doubt. If you had said that EDSA was an UNFINISHED REVOLUTION, I would have agreed with you.

        4. Let’s come down to this clean, okay. When we talk about civil war, we talk about it as a genuine people’s struggle, meaning a struggle that aims to achieve people’s aspirations. For which reason in fact, always one side of the conflict in a civil is the state, as you pointed out. Given this premise, therefore, to say the Sison-instigated uprising under Marco’s term was a civil, is to answer the question: Was it for achieving genuine aspirations of the Filipino people? If yes, next question is: What were these aspirations? From a reading of Sison’s “Philippine Society and Revolution” which we activists of the time called with fondness “PSR”, Sison puts such aspirations as being the overthrow of “US imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism.”
          My next question is to you, Johnny Saint, could you honestly say that such aspirations as Sison puts it in his book are genuine aspirations of the Filipino people? Early on in the 70s when that book was published, I was already criticizing it as a shameless plagiarizing almost verbatim of Mao Tse Tung’s Class Analysis of Chinese Society.” During marches and rallies, you’d hear people commenting on the sidelines, “America liberated us from the Japanese, gave us our independence, why condemn the Americans.” As to “feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism”, these were entirely alien concepts to the average Filipino. If at all, what was not stranger to a large segment of the people, due much to Ninoy’s splendid performances in his own political rallies (it was election time in 1971), were ideas of Marcos corruption and the ostentation of Imelda Marcos, and to this segment the aspiration to have Marcos replaced was real. But as the Lisandro interviews now reveal to us, Ninoy knew as early as 1967 or thereabouts that Marcos intended to stay in office beyond his constitutionally-allowed two terms. For Ninoy, who could not yet run for the president in 1969 due to his age, this should be utterly frustrating, since, as Cory would confirm much later in history, “Ninoy reslly wanted to be president. Everything was just planned for 1973.”

          It would be foolhardy for anyone to expect that we would get categorical statements from players in the Sison-Ninoy liaison to the effect that the meeting among Ninoy, Sison and Dante was for the purpose of establishing the CPP and the NPA. Certainly you don’t plan a crime and record its details for all the world to know. But there is no denying the sequence of events: Ninoy learns that Marcos plans to stay in power; he liaisons with Sison 1967, then has Sison meet up with Dante September 1968; December 26, 1968, CPP is established; March 29,1969, NPA is established. Beginning with the 50,000-strong rally that confronted Marcos in his State of the Nation address in January 1970. The violent dispersal of the of the demonstration resulted in brutalities that angered both the radical and moderate segments of the anti-Marcos groups, and this anger would be expressed in a shining moment of Filipino youth and students activism that would come down in history as the First Quarter Storm.

          What is strongly disturbing about this whole process is that Ninoy religiously updates the US embassy about everything that transpires, which updates the US quickly forwards to Washington.

          Now, we wonder:If the Ninoy-Sison uprising needed to be constantly monitored by the White House through updates by Ninoy, then Washington must be having some kind of a hand in the upheavals. But Sison’s line called for the overthrow of “US imperialism”, what US hand are we talking about? It would be as though US had Ninoy working out a rebellion against Marcos through Sison, with that rebellion to banner the battle cry “Down with US imperialism.” It does seem to make no sense at all.

          But that’s how the scenario of the national democratic struggle had unfolded: a movement crafted with US manipulation but ostensibly aimed against itself.

          That’s the challenge confronting us now: solve the riddle.

          Johnny Saint, you ended your comment with a citation of the Sison-Dante line of “protracted people’s war”. In fact you cited one key to solving the riddle.

          The other key is a Lenin dictum: “Not all who shout down with imperialism is anti-imperialism.”

          On the proposition that we are all for serving the Filipino people, let’s help one another solve the riddle.

        5. Sorry, but in my first reply, I inadvertently failed to add “war” to
          “civil” in at least two instances. Read “civil war” in those instances. Thank you.

        6. MGS,

          Didn’t have time to answer until now.

          I’m more convinced than ever that what you mean is “REVOLUTION” RATHER THAN “CIVIL WAR.”

          I’m sure Lenin would agree.

      3. OH YEAH,act as if I don’t get it and am a simple brain HA HA HA,you make me laugh! I really don’t give a shit and ,most likely, just like the other readers commenters here today did not read it either,HA!
        Write an essay and assume that people read the last one, RIGHT! and then make a comment about someone who did not read it as if that person is not a ‘nuanced’/informed reader, BWAH HA HA AHA!!!

        Not everyone gives a shit about a group of individuals that had an idea to do something, BUT did not do it, u know(a sort of non-history lesson then?)? BUT then an informed person, with intellectual nuances to boot, would know that HUH?

        1. You sure use a lot of “BWAH HA HA AHA” and “PFF” to express indignation.

          And a lot of hanging sentences…

          Try putting down complete thoughts instead of ranting.

  10. I’ll have to repeat this tale, wonder what you can make of it, Mr. Samonte.

    My mom tells that my late dad, then a young officer in the Constabulary (late 1960s or early 70s), was ordered to escort a mysterious car from Manila to Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac. When they arrived, my dad was shocked to find out that the passenger of the car was none other than Bernabe Buscayno – Kumander Dante. They had escorted the enemy.

    Wonder what was Buscayno doing at Luisita

    1. So what’s wrong with that chinof?

      Politicians in Tarlac having good relationship with the ‘rebels is a fact of life in Tarlac.

      Here is a snippet of the link that says Aquino was a commie coddler.

      “In another communication to the State Department dated September 21, the US Embassy sheds further light on what Ninoy told the American officials. On September 12, Ninoy had a “lengthy luncheon with two embassy officers about the “growing strength of Communist dissidence in the Philippines.” In this luncheon, the senator “readily admitted his past ties with the several Communist factions in the Philippines.” He claimed that maintaining links with Huk rebels was a “fact of life” for a Tarlac politician.

      1. in another way of speaking, who is the real enemy? Buscayno who was pro-masa or Marcos, a pro-cronies.. its all a question of perception. 🙂

      2. i hope too ChinoF, but if bright spots you mean the rub-out of the Kuratong Baleleng, the murders of Dacer and Curbito, and the recent ‘encounter’ in Atimonan over “jueteng turf”, that, those spots are not too bright for me.. 🙂

    2. Or was not your dad the enemy? The constabulary was the tool of oppression used by the Gringo-white in suppressing the insurectos, then after they left, they trained their guns for those whom we called hukbalahaps who were trying to fight for a piece of land to farm.

      That the Hukbalahaps later, and the NPA much later turned to banditry, was another matter. But the PC turned to become private armies of the politicians, and at times jueteng collectors of the provincial commanders and the politicians.

      1. Leave my dad out of this. He was one of those free of corruption. Some of his former colleagues say our family still struggling today because my dad was never corrupt.

        1. Hmm, on second thought, since I was the one who mentioned my dad, count him out of the “corrupt” you mention.

      1. @ Mauro G S

        “Kirk” in Scottish, means “church”. Was Kirk, as the central character in your article a person whose real identity you purposely did not mention, or was it as fictitious as the whole story line particularly events regarding Ninoy Aquino.

        The article was a witch hunt out of a novelist’ imagination. A good job nevertheless in illiciting some serious reactions.

        1. Kirk is as real as you and I, his story not a figment of my imagination but an honest admission of struggles gone through, sacrifices made, and pain and frustration over having put at stake one whole lifetime pursuing a civil war that never was!

  11. I visit cuba on a regular basis and castro’s model, which only limped along due to russian aid (now stopped) and overseas remittances is officially dead as it realigns its economy and opens up to local entrepreneurship and foreign visitors/investors. As a result it is starting to change rapidly – the ‘romance’ of the place may be disappearing but the populace are starting to see benefits, albeit a long way to go, but i suspect they will do well in the long term
    one day even the philippines may see the light and become an open economy.

    1. One thing I hope the Cubans maintain is their fleet of 1950’s american automobiles. I have always thought of them as quintessential works of mechanical art. Now everything you see on the road looks like an electric shaver. 😉

  12. I did not agree with the dictatorship of Marcos. It was the U.S. State Department , who kicked out Marcos. Marcos was against the extension of the U.S. Bases agreement. The U.S. knows about the Aquino-NPA coalition. However, they are more interested on their own interests. This is where the two turncoats: Enrile and Ramos , came in. To save their skins. Honasan wanted to become a star…Honasan had no battlefield experience. He is good in posing for pictures, and is the son-in-law of Enrile. The Bastard of Enrile married Honasan…

        1. @Amir Al Bahr;

          the mounds of information i have provided are insightful enough unless you do not know how to digest them.. i cannot add nor subtract to the meaning of those information because they are clear enough to me, and i hope to everyone.

    1. @ Hyden Toro

      Sterling Seagrave, investigative author in his book “Marcos Dynasty” said that Marcos was deposed from power because he refused to hand over the gold bullion he recovered from the Yamashita and the Tallano treasures. Tallano, according to historians was “king” of Maharlika and the rightful owner of the Philippine islands before the Spaniards came.

      Google the name “Tallano” and find out how this persons gold bullions worth trillions of dollars were taken away from him. His gold financed the opening of the Philippines Central Bank, the constuction of the most exclusive girls school in the Philippines called “Centro Escolarina” now Centro Escolar. Fantastic story out of the Indiana Jones pages.

  13. @jcc

    Quoting here verbatim your comment at issue lest you make another unfounded accusation of incoherence. My rebuttals, enclosed in parentheses.

    You were being incoherent… (Not at any point.) Please read the previous threads. It was your position that Ninoy was a CPP-NPA financier. (Quote any statement of mine to that effect. I never made any.) And I said those who said he was testified in the Military Tribunal and suddenly vanished. (I leave all that to you.) And that these people talked about Ninoy involvement in the CPP-NPA during martial law when the atmosphere was not “free”. (Go ahead.) Then your rebuttal was that the JOMA-Ninoy and Dante-Ninoy meeting was done outside Martial law atmosphere therefore they were free to talk. (To make it clear, what I said was that the late Huk Supremo Luis Taruc was talking freely when for the first time I heard from him about the Ninoy-Joma meeting. Same thing with Dante, who admitted to me during an interview that that meeting among Ninoy, Sison and himself was true; that interview took place after his release from prison upon the ascension of Cory to the presidency, therefore no longer under the atmosphere of martial law.) But I said those meetngs did not have the information that Ninoy was financing the CPP-NPA. (Quote any statement of mine saying Ninoy was financing the CPP-NPA. I never said anything to that effect.)Then you agree that those meetings did not reveal that Ninoy was implicated as a financier of the CPP-NPA. (Please don’t put words into my mouth. In any of my comments above, I have not touched on anything to the effect that Ninoy was financing the CPP-NPA. But you strike me as playing smart. No, please, jcc. It’s one thing that I didn’t say Ninoy was financing the CPP-NPA, it’s another that he did. Ninoy’s financing the CPP-NPA is not contingent upon my saying it but upon what he actually did. But what you are implying now is that because I did not say Ninoy was financing
    the CPP-NPA, he actually never did. In logic, you call that the fallacy of the fourth term. In layman’s term, a lie.)

    Wake up MGS!

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