According to Merriam-Webster, a conspiracy theory is defined as “a theory that explains an event or situation as the result of a secret plan by usually powerful people or groups.” Examples of famous conspiracy theories include the fake moon landing, President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and the conspiracy to create a New World Order. While conspiracy theories are generally baseless, some have been proven to be true.
Although conspiracy theories abound more in countries like the US, the Philippines, of course, has its own fair share of the same, with some dating back to hundreds of years. If anything, the prevalence of conspiracy theories in our country just goes to show how imaginative and fertile the Filipino mind can be at times.
1. Paul Walker died after uncovering a Typhoon Yolanda conspiracy
According to conspiracy theorists, the ‘Fast and the Furious’ star’s untimely death in November 2013 was no mere accident. Supposedly, a clandestine group deliberately orchestrated Walker’s car crash after he discovered a conspiracy to supply Typhoon Yolanda victims with a drug that would permanently sterilize them.
After learning that he was about to reveal everything, they rigged his car’s brakes to malfunction. A slightly different version posits that Walker discovered the money laundering activities of several organizations during the typhoon relief efforts. Different groups who have been blamed for his death are the Illuminati, drug cartels, and relief agencies.
2. An American superweapon is causing our typhoons
One conspiracy theory on why our country is experiencing a massive number of typhoons every year is because we are supposedly being attacked by a US superweapon.
While the High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) really does exist and is currently used by the US to check whether the ionosphere can be utilized for radio communications and surveillance, conspiracy theorists have blamed the program for causing storms, tsunamis, and earthquakes. Some of the nuttier ones even believe that the program is capable of mind-controlling people all over the planet.
Accordingly, a YouTube user named Dutchinse uploaded a viral video explaining that the program used “microwave pulses” to create Typhoon Yolanda. However, Dr. Mahar Lagmay, a University of the Philippines professor and executive director of Project Noah, debunked Dutchinse’s claims as without basis and lacking solid evidence.
3. Antonio Luna gave the country’s gold to the Cojuangco matriarch
One of the lesser-known yet extremely enduring mysteries of the Revolution that persists to this day is the issue whether Antonio Luna gave the Republic’s gold away to his lover Ysidra Cojuangco, the matriarch of the Cojuangco clan and the great-aunt of the former president of Corazon Aquino.
Supposedly, the gold became the foundation of the colossal Cojuangco fortune as Ysidra used it to buy massive amounts of land and property. Although this mystery will probably never be solved anytime soon, the theory itself has gained popularity especially after a YouTube user named Baron Buchokoy uploaded a video which sought to explain the roots of the Cojuangco oligarchy.
4. Ramon Magsaysay was assassinated
At this point, we can just imagine all the great things that could have happened to the country if the late President Ramon Magsaysay never died in that plane crash in March 1957.
Although the official explanation for the plane crash was overloading, some still believe that the plane was in fact sabotaged by a bomb. As to who wanted to kill Magsaysay, fingers have been pointed at several plausible culprits.
For one, the CIA may have targeted Magsaysay simply because he was planning to abandon his pro-American policies. His anti-communist stance may have also earned the wrath of secret communist agencies such as the KGB. The last set of possible perpetrators is none other than the country’s ruling oligarchy who feared that Magsaysay’s pro-poor stance posed a danger to their own interests and so planned to kill him off.
5. The US has a secret underground base in Mindanao
According to official reports, there have been no permanent American military bases in the country since 1992 when the Philippines closed down Subic. However, there are some who attest that the Americans have maintained a secret massive underground base in Mt. Kitanglad, Bukidnon.
Also Read: Manila’s secret underground tunnels
To keep it secret, they constructed a weather station above the complex in order to dissuade curious hikers and locals from finding out. Witnesses have reported sightings of foreign military hardware such as Humvees and choppers, adding credence to the idea that the Americans could be secretly staying in the area.
6. Andres Bonifacio deliberately revealed the KKK’s existence to the Spanish
Conventional history would tell us that the Revolution started prematurely after KKK member Teodoro Patiño revealed the secret society’s existence to the Spanish because of a salary dispute with another member. However, according to Jose Turiano Santiago, a close friend of Bonifacio who was expelled from the KKK in 1895, it was actually the Supremo who ordered Patiño to divulge the secret society to the authorities.
Also Read: 7 Little-Known Facts About Andres Bonifacio
Bonifacio supposedly wanted to start the Revolution and at the same time prevent the moderates in the KKK from stopping his plans. To that end, he instructed Patiño to disclose the KKK to the authorities.
7. Ninoy Aquino was a CIA agent
Aside from being labeled a Communist, the late Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr. also faced accusations that he was a lackey for the CIA. The allegation stemmed from the fact that he was a trusted aide of former President Ramon Magsaysay who himself had CIA consultants working for him.
Reportedly, after his key role in the capture of Huk leader Luis Taruc, Ninoy was sent by Magsaysay to the States to observe some CIA training programs. He was even heard to have boasted about going on a secret CIA mission to overthrow Indonesian dictator Sukarno.
President Ferdinand Marcos also regularly accused Ninoy of working for the secretive agency while he was imprisoned. However, CIA insiders have denied that Ninoy was a CIA agent mainly because they didn’t trust him. “He talked too much,” they said.
8. The PDAF masterminds orchestrated the Zamboanga Siege Incident
On September 9, 2013, residents of Zamboanga experienced the misfortune of having their city become the battleground between government forces and elements of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who wanted to proclaim their ‘Bangsamoro Republik.’
The bloody and devastating two-week battle which resulted in a government victory left hundreds of combatants and civilians dead and wounded and displaced thousands more from their homes. In the aftermath of the tragedy, speculations arose that the MNLF operation was financed by those involved in the 10 billion-peso pork barrel scandal in order to divert public attention.
According to Representatives Francisco Acedillo and Gary Alejano (one of the soldiers in the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny), 40 million pesos was given to the MNLF to start the fighting. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago herself accused her fellow Senator Juan Ponce Enrile as the brains behind the operation, an accusation he has denied.
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Varma, A. (2013). Paul Walker Conspiracy Theories: Actor’s Death Linked With Typhoon Haiyan and ‘Family Guy’ Brian’s Killing. [online] International Business Times. Available at: http://goo.gl/txrHVN [Accessed 30 Sep. 2014].