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Mendiola Massacre

Bidyo Throw Back Pilipinas 

Naglakad ang mga magsasaka patungong Malacañang Palace upang kausapin ang dating pangulong Cory Aquino na ipatupad na nya ang kanyang pangakong totoong reporma sa lupa. Ngunit di inaasahang pinagbabaril sila ng mga police at sundalo. 13 ang nasawi at di baba sa 29 ang sugatan. Panoorin ang video at i-share dahil di ito pinalabas sa TV noong nangyari ang Mendiola Massacre.

Dubbed as Black Thursday, farmers led by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) decided to march to Malacañang Palace to demand genuine agrarian reform from the Aquino government. Instead of hearing their cries for justice, they were met with volleys of rifle fire by guarding police forces under the command of Western Police District Chief Brig. Gen. Alfredo Lim and the Marine Civil Disturbance Control Battalion.

The audio of the video isn’t very clear, so here’s some backgrounder to the event:

January 15-21, 1987: Members of KMP camped out at the Ministry of Agrarian Reform (now Department of Agrarian Reform) at the Philippine Tobacco Administration Building along Elliptical Road in Diliman, Quezon City. The farmers and supporters aired their problems and demanded genuine agrarian reform. Dialogues were held between the farmers, represented by then KMP national president Jaime Tadeo, and the government, represented by then Minister Heherson Alvarez.

January 21, 1987: The farmers set up a barricade at the MAR premises. In a meeting later that day, Alvarez advised Tadeo to wait for the ratification of the 1987 Constitution and to let the government implement its comprehensive land reform program. Tadeo did not accept Alvarez’s advice, arguing that there is no hope for genuine land reform under a landlord-controlled Congress. Alvarez, after a heated discussion with Tadeo, suggested that they assemble a negotiating panel and just meet again the following day.

January 22: KMP decided to march to Malacañang instead of attending yet another dialogue with agrarian reform officials. Other sectoral organizations such as the Kilusang Mayo Uno, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang taga-Lungsod (KPML) and League of Filipino Students (LFS) joined them along the way.

From Quezon Memorial Circle, they proceeded to Liwasang Bonifacio and held a brief program. Meanwhile, civil disturbance control units under the command of Capital Regional Command Commander Gen. Ramon MontaÒo, Task Force Nazareno commander Col. Cesar Nazareno and Western Police District Chief Police Brig. Gen. Alfredo Lim were deployed in the vicinity of Malacañang.

The marchers numbered about 10,000-15,000 by the time they reached C.M. Recto Avenue that afternoon. As police and leaders of the protest were about to huddle to negotiate, rifle shots coming from the third line of defense (the Marines) were heard. Protesters scampered for safety while the police and Marines pursue them along nooks and crannies of Legarda and Recto Ave. with teargas, truncheons and more gunshots.

Fisherman and farmer Dolly Tambongon can still recall the fear he felt when government forces opened fire on him and thousands of other unarmed farmers and workers 27 years ago on Mendiola Street, Manila.

“Yung nakakatakot dun eh yung pagsigaw namin ng ‘kailangan ng reporma ng lupa.’ Nagsilabasan yung mga baril, yung 30-calibre. Pinamaril sa aming hanay. Agad-agad, maraming tinamaan. Sabi ng aming lider, ‘atras tayo, hindi natin kaya dahil baril ‘yan.'”

(What was scary was when we shouted ‘we need land reforms.’ They took out their 30-calibre guns. They shot at our lines. Immediately, many were hit. Our leader said, ‘Pull back, we can’t beat guns.’)

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