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1971 Plaza Miranda bombing

The Liberal Party in Plaza Mirnda before the grenades were thrown.
Location Plaza Miranda, Quiapo, Manila, Philippines
Date August 21, 1971 (UTC +8)
Target political campaign rally
Attack type bombing
Weapon(s) hand grenades
Death(s) 9
Injured 95
Suspected perpetrator(s) Communist rebels

The 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing occurred during a political campaign rally of the Liberal Party at Plaza Miranda in the district of Quiapo, Manila in the Philippines on August 21, 1971.[1] It caused nine deaths and injured 95 others.[2]


The bombing

The Liberal Party's campaign rally was held to proclaim the candidacies of eight Senatorial bets as well as the candidate for the Mayoralty race in Manila. As a crowd of about 4,000 gathered to hear speeches, two hand grenades were reportedly tossed on- stage.[3] Among those killed instantly were a 5-year-old child and The Manila Times photographer Ben Roxas. Almost everyone on stage was injured, including incumbent Senator Jovito Salonga, Liberal Party president Gerardo Roxas and Sergio Osmeña, Jr., son of former President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Sergio Osmeña.




Suspicion of responsibility for the blast initially fell upon incumbent President Ferdinand Marcos, whom the Liberals blamed for the bombing; however, in later years, prominent personalities associated with the event have laid the blame on the Communist Party of the Philippines under José María Sison.[4] Jovito Salonga, in his autobiography, states his belief that Sison and the CPP were responsible.[5] Former New People's Army commander, now Armed Forces of the Philippines Major General Victor Corpus has also made statements revealing that Sison ordered the bombing of the political rally.[6]

José María Sison continues to deny these claims,[7] and the CPP has never released any official confirmation of their culpability in the incident.[8]

Marcos, for his part, also blamed the communists; citing a communist plot to destabilize the government, he took the opportunity to seize emergency powers. He suspended the writ of habeas corpus[9] — a prelude to declaring Martial Law.


Jovito Salonga was among those most seriously injured. The blast left him blind in one eye and deaf in one ear. Small pieces of shrapnel are still lodged in his body. Ramon Bagatsing, the Liberal Party mayoralty candidate for Manila, lost his leg.[10]

Bearing on the election

In a setback for Marcos' ruling Nacionalista Party, the Liberals took six of the eight contested Senate seats, as well as the Manila mayoralty.[10]


On August 21, 2002, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo unveiled a commemorative marker in Plaza Miranda in honor of the nine innocent civilians killed in the blast.[11]

See also


  1. ^ "Partido Liberal Pilipinas: Timeline". Retrieved 2007-10-27.  
  2. ^ Locsin, Jr., Teodoro. "Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Man of the Year, 1971". Retrieved 2007-10-27.  
  3. ^ "Death in the Plaza Miranda".,9171,909933,00.html. Retrieved 2007-10-27.  
  4. ^ Doronila, Amando (2007-08-24). "Politics of violence". Retrieved 2007-10-27.  
  5. ^ Dizon, David (2002-11-19). "Salonga's Journey". Retrieved 2007-10-27.  
  6. ^ Soliven, Max (2004-02-12). "Revolution by Assassination?". Philippine Daily Star. Retrieved 2007-10-27.  
  7. ^ Distor, Emere. "The Left and Democratisation in the Philippines". Retrieved 2007-10-27.  
  8. ^ Nemenzo, Gemma. "Note from the Underground". Retrieved 2007-10-27.  
  9. ^ Simafrania, Eduardo D. (2006-08-21). [ "Commemorating Ninoy Aquino’s assassination"]. The Manila Times. Retrieved 2007-10-27.  
  10. ^ a b "Binding Up the Wounds". Time Magazine. 1971-11-22.,9171,905539,00.html. Retrieved 2007-10-28.  
  11. ^ "GMA joins people in commemorating Plaza Miranda bombing". Retrieved 2007-10-27.  


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