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Showing posts with label RAMON MAGSAYSAY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RAMON MAGSAYSAY. Show all posts

Friday, December 6, 2013


President Ramon Magsaysay (1907-1957) was one of the country's best-loved and best-admired presidents who championed for the poor and pushed and advocated for a true and genuine land reform. As Secretary of National Defense, Magsaysay was able to dismantle the Hukbalahap, a communist group with an unorthodox manner. Plots to kill and assassinate the Defense Secretary were ordered by Huk head Luis Taruc and hit squads were sent and dispatched. The whole story below---

A movie, "Objective: Patayin si Sec. Magsaysay!" was made in 1957, based from the true story of an Ex-Huk assigned to kill RM. It starred Jose Padilla, Jr., Arsenia Francisco, Oscar Moreno, Carlos Salazar, Aida Carino, Teddy Baenavides, Gil de Leon and Ruben Rustia. The movie was directed by Mike Velarde under Champion Pictures.

Ramon del Fierro Magsaysay (August 31, 1907 - March 17, 1957) was the third President of the
Third Republic of the Philippines from December 30, 1953 until his death in a plane crash in 1957.

... In early August 1950 Magsaysay offered President Quirino a plan to fight the Communist guerillas, using his own experiences in guerrilla warfare during World War II. After some hesitation, Quirino realized that there was no alternative and appointed Magsaysay Secretary of National Defence on August 31, 1950. He intensified the campaign against the Hukbalahap guerillas, waging one of the most successful anti-guerrilla campaigns in modern history. This success was due in part to the unconventional methods he employed and developed alongside an American adviser, General Edward Lansdale. The counterinsurgency the two deployed utilized soldiers distributing relief goods and other forms of aid to outlying, provincial communities. Where before Magsaysay the rural folk looked on the Philippine Army if not in distrust, at least with general apathy, during his term as Defense Secretary Filipinos began to respect and admire their soldiers. (Wikipedia)
From the file--- The Hukbalahap Insurection: A Case Study of a Successful Anti-Insurgency Operation in the Philippines, 1946-1955 by Major Lawrence M. Greenberg/ 1987
The new secretary of national defense's popularity and fame did not escape Taruc's notice. During his first year in office, Magsaysay was the target of several Huk assassination attempts. Fortunately, all of these attempts failed and in one case, the agent was "turned" after having a long discussion with Magsaysay.

One of several young men sent to assassinate Magsaysay during his first year as secretary was Thomas Santiago, known as "Manila Boy." Santiago was one of Luis Taruc's personal bodyguards and totally dedicated to the Huk cause. Leaving the mountains with grenades and pistols hidden in his clothing, he went to Manila where, while watching the secretary's office, he overheard a group of citizens talking about Magsaysay. To his great surprise, they were praising the secretary as a new national hero. When young Santiago challenged their contentions, he was taken aside by a former guerrilla leader and told that he should talk to Magsaysay to see if what he heard was indeed the truth. The following morning, Santiago did just that. After an hour of often heated debate, Santiago shook Magsaysay's hand, turned his weapons over to the secretary, and told him, "I came to kill you. Now please, let me work for you."34 As was the case with several Huk personalities during Magsaysay's term, "Manila Boy" went to work for the secretary, touring the country and telling all who would listen to him of Magsaysay's dedication to the people and the nation.

This episode however, should not suggest that Magsaysay's personality and charisma overcame all adversity -- it did not. Several other assassins arrived in Manila, but they too failed to kill Magsaysay. The secretary was by then living with Lansdale in a Manila residence quietly protected by a special team of Filipino bodyguards who specialized in stealth and night operations. Although never publicized, several "hit teams" were quietly dispatched by these extraordinary bodyguards. One might wonder why these attacks were kept secret -- Lansdale
recalls Magsaysay saying that it would be best to remain silent and let Taruc wonder what happened to his men, ie, were they killed or had they deserted.


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