Parallels: Tiananmen Square and Luneta

My friend posted this on his facebook wall.

The known facts are these:

On August 19, 2005, Emmanuel “Bong” Madrigal, a Manila-based Filipino executive of the multinational Shell, was visiting Beijing on vacation with his wife Vivian, his daugher Regina Mia, and two younger daughters. That day, they rode a tourist bus to Tiananmen Square, the heart of the capitol. Upon arriving at the square, Emmanuel Madrigal was the first to descend from the bus, followed by Vivian and Regina Mia. A Chinese man wielding a scythe–in some reports it was described as a sword–suddenly appeared out of nowhere and hacked Emmanuel across his torso. He died on the spot. The man also attacked and seriously wounded Vivian. He then slashed at and killed Regina Mia. By this time, bystanders were trying to subdue the man, and Vivian shouted to her two other daughters to get away and save themselves. Somehow the girls made their way back to the hotel. Vivian was brought to a Beijing hospital, where she died several days later of her injuries.

An Associated Press report still circulating on the internet states that the killer was Wang Gongzuo, 25, a farmer from eastern China’s Jiangsu province. He was sentenced to death for the murder of the Madrigals and executed a few weeks later, in September. The AP report states: ‘Wang’s motive for killing the two is unclear. After the incident occurred the Beijing Morning Post reported that he had wanted to ‘affect society using extreme actions,’ but didn’t elaborate.

” Reflect on the parallels. A family of vacationers on a tourist bus: the Leungs and the Madrigals. A killer out to “affect society using extreme actions”: Mendoza and Wang. A massacre in a public place of symbolic significance: The Quirino grandstand, where the presidential inauguration had been held just weeks before, and site of the civil society protests against the Marcos regime; and Tiananmen Square, since ancient times the symbol of the centralized power of the Chinese state, and site of the 1991 civil protests against the government. In both incidents, the state failed miserably in protecting innocent tourists.

And there the parallels end. President Aquino has apologized to the families of Mendoza’s victims and conveyed his sorrow to the people of Hongkong, Chief Executive Donald Tsang, and Ambassador Lin Jian Chao. The Philippine National Police acknowledge that they botched matters beyond comprehension. Philippine legislators, ahead of their Hongkong counterparts, called for a full investigation. Philippine media organizations are looking to their own culpability in the affair. And masses of ordinary Filipinos, on TV, radio, print, and the Internet, are expressing collective horror, remorse and pity over the terrible fate of the innocent tourists, and bow their heads in shame before the Hong Kong people’s sorrow and anger. That is how it should be, that is only right.

But. To this day, five years after it happened, there is no public record of any Chinese official acknowledging the tourist killings in Tiananmen Square and apologizing to the Madrigals, much less the Filipino people, for the murder of Emmanuel, Regina Mia and Vivian. Not a single expression of regret that the Chinese police failed in their duty to protect the lives of innocent tourists in the very heart of Beijing, in the symbolic center of a state that prides itself most of all for its ability to control and contain disorder. There was a total blackout on the part of the Chinese press, and, according to another news report, government censors quickly blocked many internet sites where Chinese users had begun to post comments about the killing. So we will likely never know what ordinary Chinese citizens had to say about about the incident. Maybe some of them were actually sorry for what happened. The closest thing to expressed regret was in fact the final reported action of the killer Wang, who waived his right to appeal the sentence of execution, and got a bullet in the back of his head.

To add to the horror, it would appear that the Arroyo administration was complicit in the silence. No public statement was ever made by the Philippine government regarding the incident. Unlike in Hongkong, no flags were flown at half-mast in Manila, and no three-minute silence was observed to mark the deaths of the innocent Filipino tourists. No demand has ever been made by any Filipino official for an apology, and for an accounting. A full investigation of the Quirino Grandstand killing is ongoing. But what of that other killing, also in August, five years ago in Tiananmen Square?

I don’t know who the author of this article, but the the post is really compelling so I decided to share it with you. If you know who wrote this, please feel free to inform me so I can give proper acknowledgement. 

Parallels: Tiananmen Square and Luneta Parallels: Tiananmen Square and Luneta Reviewed by Wicked Sago on 2:01:00 PM Rating: 5


  1. Better confirm who wrote this. It may be a hoax.

    Even if true, what? What's the point of this? To excuse the killing of the hostages in Luneta? Just because their people killed some of ours during their unrest, do we have the right to kill theirs? The only point of this is to play down the responsibility of Filipinos in the current debacle. That is very irresponsible. Filipinos will always remain responsible for what happened in August 23, 2010, and the Chinese have the right to be angry at us and our failure of a culture.

    Sorry, the parallels idea fails. Aside from the few Filipinos there, MANY Chinese died too in Tienanmen. In the bus massacre, only Chinese nationals died. What parallels?

  2. Naku, the PR arm of PNoy is into full swing trying to divert the real issues of the bungled "major, major" fiasco that hit his administration.

    First of all, the Madrigals were attacked by a single deranged chinese on APRIL 19, 2005. Just the date being all wrong meant that whoever did the draft of the PR material FAILED again to check their facts (parang si Colomo at si Carandang ba? Hahahahahahaha).

    Second, there was NO news blackout as attested by the news report that came out in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on April 22, 2005, provided by the DFA

    Third, the DFA was immediately informed of the incident and there was clear protocol followed.

    Fourth, the assailant was sentenced to death on Sept 29, 2005 - just five months after the incident. Meaning, the chinese government was intent on pursuing the case to the end - and swiftly.

    Fifth, there was no public outcry in this incident because it cannot be prevented given that the assailant was deranged - and everything happened so fast. Very unlike the Quirino Grandstand fiasco that was televised worldwide and dragged on for 11 hours - and COULD have been prevented.

    I can go on and on with this discourse. The bottomline is that the PR arm of PNoy is working overdrive to deflect all the negative publicity. And this is what gets my goat. Why can't they just come clean and accept they had lapses and failure of great magnitude? Rather than come out with these half truths to distort the facts?

    Hay naku ... kaya nga di umaasenso ang Pilipinas eh.

  3. The massacre you are referring to is, I think, the 1989 massacre and not the "supposed" 2005 incident :| where this Filipino family perished.

    Unfortunately, there are claims on facebook that this article is real. Let's just take a further investigation on this.

  4. If this is true, I would like to ask all the Chinese people to reflect on this. Please.

    Even before the hostage-drama occured in Quirino grandstand last week, we Filipinos were already discriminated and abused by Chinese people. Consider the reported and unreported rape cases in China/ Hongkong.

    Please be open-minded Chinese people.

  5. right, no need to apologize because a deranged man killed people as well - fallen humanity and poor morals all around.

  6. @ Techtor,

    hindi mo ba nakikita yung similarity ng events? both tourists sila which were killed for whatever reason. what unrest are you referring to? the 1989 tiananmen massacre? as you might have missed from the article, Emmanuel and family were murdered last 2005.

    the point of this post is NOT to downplay our responsibility. admittedly, the PNP bungled the rescue operations, nonetheless, blame should not be spread around to all the Filipinos. We have an inept police force - that's it. But saying that I personally am somehow responsible for the Quirino massacre is outrageous to say the least.

  7. @ Rickydmd

    PNoy did accept responsibility and even apologised to HK and its people. what is upsetting is we ourselves are pulling the whole country down. from where you are, it's very easy to criticise kasi you have no accountability, a mere spectator.

    tell me, how do you propose we move forward with this? para "umasenso" ang pilipinas as you hope? if you don't have any concrete action plans, then what you're just merely blabbering.

  8. Una sa lahat, gusto ko lang ipaalam na hindi ako isang tagasunod ni Noynoy. Matagal nang natapos ang eleksyon, natalo ang manok ko, isinantabi ang lahat at eto kaisa ng mayorya ng Pilipino na umaasa ng pagbabago.
    Subalit ang bansa natin ay biglang nasuong sa gitna ng napakalaking pagsubok na kahit sino ay hindi inakalang aabot sa ganito. Ngunit sa kabila nito, kailangan ko bang sisihin si Noynoy? Nangyari na ang lahat at hindi na natin maibabalik ang pagkakataon na iyon na sa tingin nating mga nanood sa telebisyon ay hindi sana dapat na nangyari. Pero wala ako sa mismong eksena at ako ay isang tagapanood lamang. Magkaiba ang pakiramdam ng taong nanonood sa harap ng telebisyon kaysa sa taong nandoon mismo sa gitna ng pangyayari. Ang kailangan ay isang malawak na pag-analisa sa nangyari at kailanman ang sisihan ay hindi makakatulong sa ating pagbangon.
    Kaliwa't kanan ang batikos na natanggap natin sa kapwa nating Pilipino at mga dayuhan. Ang puntirya sa mga banat na ito ay hindi IKAW, AKO, o SIYA kundi TAYO mga Pilipino bilang isang bansa.
    Si Noynoy bilang lider, at nararamdaman ang mga batikos na natatanggap ng kapwa Pilipino sa ibang bansa at sa Pilipinas sa pangkalahatan ay tinanggap ang responsibilidad ng pagkakamali at nagpakumbaba sa mga nasaktan ng pangyayari upang humupa ang tensyon at maibalik sa dating pagkakaunawaan ang dalawang bansa. Hindi ba't dapat din lang tayong makiisa sa kanya para makabangon at matulungan siyang harapin ang mas mabibigat na problema na nagpapalubog sa ating bayan? Sa halip na makiisa sa pagbatikos sa ating gobyerno, bakit kaya hindi natin gawin ang responsibilidad natin bilang mamamayan - tulungan natin maibangon ang bayan at magkaisa sa paglinis ng ating nasirang pangalan.
    Ikaw kabayan, ano ba ang naitulong at maitutulong mo? Habambuhay na lang ba tayong aasa sa gobyerno natin o kailangan na nating baguhin ang ating pananaw bilang mga Pilipino?
    Wag mong tanungin kung ano ang magagawa ng pamahalaan mo sa iyo, bagkus dapat tanungin ang sarili mo kung ano ang magagawa mo sa iyong bayan.

    Ang artikulo na nalathala, sa aking palagay ay hindi inilabas upang ipakita sa bansang Tsina na sa gitna ng kanilang mga protesta ay meron din silang pagkakamali na nagawa. Isa itong tipikal na halimbawa ng kasabihang bago mo punahin ang dumi sa mata ng iba ay kailangan mong linisin muna ang dumi sa iyong mga mata.

    Kaibigan, sa pagkakataong ito, walang ibang makakatulong at makakapagbangon sa sarili nating bansa kundi TAYO MISMO! Kaya tama na ang sisihan at kalimutan na ang mga pansariling interes. Tapos na ang eleksiyon at magkaisa tayong sumulong sa kaunlaran. Ang kailangan ng bawat isa ay magtulakan pasulongn at hindi maghilahan pababa.

    'Hay naku ... kaya nga di umaasenso ang Pilipinas eh.'..........sana lang alam mo ang kahulugan ng pangungusap na ito Kabayan...

  9. excuse me. It's not a hoax. that was my uncle and cousin who died in beijing.

  10. Things like these happen everywhere, all the time. We say sorry, they accept, and we should move on. But no, the HK government had to grand-stand.
    What people didn't know is that Donald Tsang has been unpopular to his own people for quite some time before this Luneta incident happened. He found a way to redeem his name at our expense and is currently the leader rallying HK against the Filipinos. As far as he is concerned, it's a selfish intention and should not be given any more thought. In fairness to mainland China, the govt has been silent about the hostage taking right after the first few days of its reaction. Now, it's no longer commenting, unlike the HK govt.
    Chinese people and other races have been dying for years but nobody has ever considered crimes like these a national issue of the same intensity as the holocaust, until now. So in my opinion, the fire rages on because Tsang and his colleagues are throwing gas into the flame to make him a hero. To remove the smile on his lips, we better throw sand into the issue and stop it. Otherwise, he continues to rake in the benefits of his selfish intentions.

  11. That day, they rode a tourist bus to Tiananmen Square, the heart of the capitol. Upon arriving at the square, Emmanuel Madrigal was the ...


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