Thursday, September 21, 2006

100 significant events in Philippine history 3/3

These 35 are the third batch of the 100 most significant events in Philippine history, according to the National Historical Institute. Events No. 1 to 65 appeared on September 17 and 19.

66. Communist Party of the Philippines. August 27, 1930. Crisanto Evangelista established the Party, which later merged with the Socialist Party of Pedro Abad Santos and composed the Hukbalahap during the Second World War. The government declared it illegal.

67. Inauguration of Rizal Monument. December 29, 1930. The monument to Jose Rizal was inaugurated at the Luneta (now Rizal Park).

68. Sakdalista movement. 1931. Underground socialist reform movement whose members were mostly peasants against the antinationalist policies of the government.

69. Tydings-McDuffie Law. March 25, 1934. This law, signed by Theodore Roosevelt, provided for the establishment of the transition period before America would eventually recognize Philippine Independence.

70. Inauguration of Commonwealth government. November 15, 1935. Manuel Quezon and Sergio Osmeña took the oath as President and Vice-President.

71. Commonwealth Constitution. 1935. Used to guide the Commonwealth government, cut off during the Japanese period and was restored after the war until 1973, when President Marcos ratified a new one.

72. Law on Women’s Suffrage. December 14, 1937. For the first time, Filipino women were given the right to vote during elections.

73. Japanese invasion. December 8, 1941. Japanese bombers attacked Clark Air Base and other American camps in Baguio City, Manila and Davao. This signaled the beginning of the Japanese Occupation in the Philippines.

74. Oath-taking at Malinta Tunnel, Corregidor. December 30, 1941. Manuel Quezon took his second term of office as President of the Commonwealth government.

75. New government under the Japanese. December 3, 1942. The Kapisanan sa Paglilingkod sa Bagong Pilipinas (Kalibapi) was established and elected Jose P. Laurel as President of the Philippines. This party, however, lasted only until 1945.

76. Tagalog as official language. June 7, 1940. President Manuel L. Quezon proclaimed Tagalog as one of the official languages in the Philippines starting July 4, 1946. Tagalog later became known as the Filipino language.

77. Fall of Manila. 1942. The Japanese forces led by Masaharu Homma occupied Manila.

78. Fall of Bataan. April 9, 1942. General Edward P. King surrendered to spare the lives of battle weary and outnumbered Filipino and American soldiers who were defending Bataan. They ran out of ammunition, supplies and had no reinforcements.

79. Fall of Corregidor. May 6, 1942. General Jonathan Wainwright surrendered the entire USAFFE in the Philippines to General Masaharu Homma of the Japanese Imperial Army.

80. Leyte landing. October 20, 1944. General Douglas MacArthur landed in Leyte Gulf with Sergio Osmeña Sr. and Carlos P. Romulo. This signaled the retaking of the Philippines from the Japanese soldiers. It was also a fulfillment of MacArthur’s promise in 1942 when he said “I shall return.”

81. Sergio Osmeña succeeded President Quezon as President of the Commonwealth. August 1, 1944. President Quezon died of Tuberculosis while he was in the United States.

82. Makabayang Kalipunan ng mga Pilipino (Makapili). December 8, 1944. The Japanese used its members, composed of Filipinos, to inform on guerrilla sympathizers. Many of its members were prosecuted after the war for the atrocities they committed against the people.

83. Establishment of the Congress of Labor Organizations (CLO). March 16. 1945. The CLO, first called Committee of Labor Organizations, was a federation of labor organizations organized by former leaders of the Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa mga Hapon (Hukbalahap), which was forced to go underground when the government declared it illegal.

84. Liberation of Manila. 1945. The Americans entered Manila and liberated many Filipino and American internees at the University of Santo Tomas. Manila was devastated after the war. General Douglas MacArthur turned over the civilian government to Sergio Osmeña Sr.

85. United Nations membership. September 1945. The Philippines joined the United Nations.

86. Philippine Independence from America. July 4, 1946. America eventually let go of the Philippines.

87. Alto Broadcasting Network and DZXL-TV Channel 9. 1953. The first commercial television station that developed into what is now ABS-CBN.

88. Death of President Ramon Magsaysay. March 17, 1957. The President’s plane crashed in Manunggal, Cebu. His death grieved the Filipino people and caused an immediate transition of leadership in government.

89. Reestablishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines. December 27. 1968. Jose Ma. Sison reestablished the old communist party.

90. Martial law. September 21, 1972. President Ferdinand Marcos signed Proclamation 1081 declaring martial law to “save the Republic” from crime and violence. Marcos abolished the Congress and created the semiparliament Batasang Pambansa. It caused the takeover of many private businesses by the government, exile, disappearances and imprisonment of individuals critical of the government.

91. Assassination of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino. August 21, 1983. The senator was assassinated at the Manila International Airport, now named in his honor.

92. Comelec Employees’ Walk-Out. February 9, 1986. Thirty computer technicians of the Commission on Elections walked out of their jobs after they were ordered to cheat the election returns in favor of President Marcos.

93. Military mutiny. February 23, 1986. Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and AFP Vice Chief of Staff Fidel V. Ramos defected from the Marcos administration. People gathered at EDSA to protect them from pro-administration soldiers. Two days after, President Marcos went on exile to Hawaii.

94. Oath-taking of Corazon C. Aquino, the senator’s widow, and Salvador H. Laurel as President and Vice-President of the Philippines. February 25, 1986. They were sworn into office after the snap elections.

95. Return of presidential government. 1987. President Aquino appointed 48 members of the constitutional convention to draft the Constitution that restored democracy and abolished the Batasang Pambansa.

96. Military coup. August 28, 1987. The Reform the AFP Movement (RAM), led by Col. Gregorio Honasan, staged the coup, demanding the surrender of the Aquino government. The troops penetrated Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame but were repulsed by government forces. There were other failed coup attempts by the RAM (one in 1986, three attempts in 1987), Nationalist Army of the Philippines (NAP) in 1986, and the combined forces of RAM and NAP on December 1, 1989.

97. Inauguration of President Fidel V. Ramos and VP Joseph E. Estrada. June 30, 1992. President Ramos and VP Estrada were sworn in by Chief Justice Andres Narvasa at the Luneta Grandstand. FVR is the first president who comes from the Protestant faith.

98. Biggest case of corruption. September 24, 1993. Former first lady Imelda Marcos was convicted for the first time of corruption and sentenced to 24 years in prison. Few days earlier, the remains of former President Marcos who died in 1989 in Hawaii was finally entombed at their family mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Sur.

99. First actor President of the Philippines. June 30, 1998. President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, best known as Erap, took his oath as the 13th President of the Philippines in Barasoain Church, Malolos, Bulacan.

100. End of the 20th Century and Millennium Watch. December 31, 2000. The Filipino Nation led by President Joseph Ejercito Estrada joined the whole world in welcoming the new millennium. The President called on Filipinos “to pray for global peace and brotherhood and to world as one in facing the challenges of the 21st Century.”
--By Christine G. Dulnuan, National Historical Institute

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