COMPILED STATEMENTS AND NEWS RELEASES
January 22, 2018 (31st anniversary of the Mendiola Massacre)
Broad campaign to oust Duterte starts today
Jan. 22 Day of Protest Against Political Killings, Charter Change, and Other Anti-People Policies
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)
Farmers and progressive sectors commemorate the 31st anniversary of the Mendiola Massacre with a protest near Malacanang to condemn the rising political killings and heightening anti-people policies implemented by the Duterte regime at the start of year. Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas leads today’s day of protest in Manila and other urban centers nationwide.
“We remember the ultimate sacrifice of Mendiola Massacre farmer-martyrs — Danilo Arjona, Leopoldo Alonzo, Adelfa Aribe, Dionisio Bautista, Roberto Caylao, Vicente Campomanes, Ronilo Dumunico, Dante Evangelio, Angelito Gutierrez, Rodrigo Grampan, Bernabe Laquindanum, Sonny Boy Perez and Roberto Yumul. Their deaths will not go in vain as long as we continue to struggle for genuine land reform,” says Antonio Flores, secretary general of KMP.
“On the 31st year of the Mendiola Massacre, farmers declare the ruling Duterte presidency as an enemy of the people and the peasant masses. We cannot allow Duterte to have his way and continue the massacre of farmers through political killings and burdensome economic policies. It is high time for social sectors to unite and call for Duterte’s ouster as President. Farmers will be a formidable force in the broad people’s movement against Duterte.”
Oplan Kapayapaan and Oplan Pacific Eagle Philippines to worsen rights abuses
KMP says justice remain elusive for hundreds of victims of political killings and human rights violations under Duterte’s martial law and tyrannical rule. To date, 110 farmers were killed under the AFP and Duterte’s Oplan Kapayapaan. Hundreds were arrested and detained. Tens of thousands endure human rights violations, especially in Mindanao where Martial Law is declared.
Last Jan. 20, James Flores, 33, a resident of Purok Cadena, Barangay Mankilam Tagum City Davao del Norte was shot dead by an unidentified assailant. Flores was a staunch peasant rights activist and a member of Pederasyon sa tanang Asosasyon sa mga Mag-uuma ug Lumad sa Agusan ug Davao (PAMULAD). On the same day, a strafing incident was reported in a peasant community in Brgy. San Miguel, Las Navas, Northern Samar. Elements of the Philippine Army’s 20th Infantry Battalion indiscriminately fired ammunition directed at a civilian community for 10 minutes. The said incident happened after a land mine reportedly detonated near the local village. Intense militarization continue in Batangas and Quezon provinces and other areas in Mindanao particularly in Caraga and Northern Mindanao.
KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos said the latest US counterinsurgency program Operation Pacific Eagle-Philippines coupled with the AFP’s Oplan Kapayapaan are sure to worsen the human rights situation in the country.
“Farmers and peasant leaders killed under Duterte were red-tagged and accused as members and supporters of the New People’s Army. Those killed are farmers who are actively fighting for their land rights. They are civilians targeted by the AFP’s intense militarization,” Ramos said
“With the full implementation of the US-directed anti-terrorism mission Operation Pacific Eagle-Philippines, the AFP will definitely step up its abuses and human rights violations against civilians. When government forces cannot go after the NPA, farmers and rural folks become default targets of military operations,” the KMP leader said.
Resist Duterte’s ChaCha, dictatorship masked as federalism
The peasant group said Filipinos must brace for an intense year as the government is bent on implementing more anti-people policies. “After imposing the burdensome TRAIN, Duterte and his allies in Congress are now training their guns to kill all the protectionist provisions like land reform and social justice in the Constitution through Charter Change and ConAss,” Flores said.
“Political dynasty warlords in Congress led by House Speaker Bebot Alvarez are even threatening to push through with ChaCha through ConAss even without the Senate. Duterte is bent on pursuing his dictatorial ambitions through federalism.
“Duterte’s regime was long exposed as anti-people and repressive. We will continue to fight our right to the land, launch collective land cultivation campaigns or bungkalan, and defend our inherent democratic and human rights,” the peasant leader said.
Today’s activities are part of the build-up campaign for bigger and broader mass mobilizations in the coming months. “We call on all sectors, personalities and the broad masses disillusioned by Duterte’s failed promises and provoked by the rising tyranny and unending economic woes to unite. On February 25, we will mobilize once more against the aspiring dictator in Malacanang,” Ramos concluded.
Anakpawis solon calls peasant to resist anti-people Duterte gov’t, frustrate its charter change scheme
Manila – Anakpawis party-list Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao today joined farmers and various progressive organizations in a protest action at the Mendiola Bridge to denounce the continuing rights violations, killings and persecutions against peasants, indigenous people and other poor rural people. He urged not only farmers but the public to resist the Duterte government’s socio-political onslaught.
“In the commemoration of the 31st year of the Mendiola Massacre, let us remember the martyrdom of thirteen farmers who killed by state forces demanding their rights to land. Until now, no justice to the victims, worst fascist and tyranny continues as the Duterte government made a 360 turn on its pro-people stance and launched socio-political offensives against people” Casilao added.
The party-list lawmaker cited the railroading of the anti-people TRAIN Law which increases tax on selected items including oil products which in effect further jack up the prices of basic goods and services. Also, Duterte minions in the House of Representatives pushes charter change ostensibly to further support Duterte’s ambition to control the gov’t and pushes extended terms. It also packages the amendments in the economic provisions to allow unlimited sell out of local utilities and lands 100% to foreign investors.
“These anti-people measures of Duterte is obviously met with protest and resistance, this resulted to intensify attacks against farmers and other rural poor asserting their right to lands. Under the Duterte gov’t, 126 individuals recorded 126 cases of extra judicial killings, 110 victims were peasants and indigenous people, the latest was victim James Flores, staunch peasant rights activist and a member of Pederasyon sa tanang Asosasyon sa mga Mag-uuma ug Lumad sa Agusan ug Davao (PAMULAD) was shot dead in Tagum City last January 20”, Casilao also said
Moreover, the lawmaker said that just like the time of peasant unrest during 1st Aquino gov’t, framers demand was meted with violence by the gov’t., from one killings to another under various counter insurgency programs. Also, by kowtowing neo-liberal recommendations of its economic team, Duterte turn against the interest of peasants for genuine and reform and unleash attacks against farmers’ and indigenous people’s communities that is against development aggression that resulted to massive land grabbing. According to Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, the Duterte gov’t pledged 1.5M hectares of farm land intended for oil palm plantation as one cited case.
“The Mendiola Massacre reminds us that justice should be pursued. It also serves as a stern challenge that the gov’t especially with a self-styled left, socialist pretending Pres. Duterte continues to be popular despite its creeping tyrannical, fascist and slowly exposing itself to be a corrupt and a burden to poor people due to unjust tax law. The people should learn from the militant tradition of the peasant that despite in the face of fascist attacks, it continues to assert right to land and justice”, Casilao concluded #
On the 31st anniversary of Mendiola Massacre, call for land and justice remain;
Peasant women oppose Dutertes TRAIN, Chacha and looming dictatorship
Amihan – National Federation of Peasant Women
“Thirty-one years after the historic Mendiola Massacre, farmers are confronted by Duterte and his lackeys’ self-serving schemes resulting to rising killings and other forms of human rights abuses and massacre of our source of livelihood,” National Federation of Peasant Women (Amihan) Chair Zen Soriano said.
The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today led hundreds of peasants from Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog and allied groups in a national day of protest in Mendiola to commemorate the massacre.
On January 22, 1987, farmers marched to Mendiola to demand the distribution of land to the peasantry from the Cory Aquino administration. State armed forces sprayed bullets on the protesting farmers which led to the death of 13 farmers, including a peasant woman.
“The persistence of landlessness and the lack of genuine agrarian reform is the greatest injustice in the country. It is the cause of the endless poverty, hunger, and massacres endured by farmers for centuries. Yet, the Duterte regime is aggressively advancing 100% foreign ownership of land through Chacha,” Soriano said.
“The provisions in the proposed amendments of the constitution remove the restrictions on foreign investments and the prevention of national industrialization and genuine agrarian reform. This would exacerbate land grabbing and farmers displacement from their lands as it would legalize and systematize multinational corporations monopoly control and plunder of our natural resources,” Soriano added.
The group said that this is directly in line with the TRAIN (Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion) that is wreaking havoc to the lives of farming and fishing families. A bulk of the fund that will be collected from the excise tax will finance Dutertes Build, Build, Build which is nothing but massive displacement of farming communities to accommodate foreign investments and development projects.
“TRAIN would also fund the intensified attacks against the peasantry and the people resisting these grand schemes of the ruling elite,” Soriano said.
According to Karapatan, there have been 110 farmers killed including 18 peasant women and 4 minors during Duterte’s term. Cases of illegal arrests and detention, military encampment in peasant communities, indiscriminate firing and bombing and forced evacuation have escalated especially after the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.
Most recent is the strafing incident reported in a peasant community in Brgy. San Miguel, Las Navas, Northern Samar at 9pm on January 20, 2018. According to Karapatan-Eastern Visayas, elements of the Philippine Armys 20th IB indiscriminately fired ammunition directed at a civilian community which lasted for about ten minutes. The incident happened after a land mine reportedly detonated near the village.
On the same day, James Flores, 33 years old, a peasant rights activist and a member of Pederasyon sa Tanang Asosasyon sa mga Mag-uuma ug Lumad sa Agusan ug Davao (PAMULAD) was shot dead by unidentified assailant around 6pm. He is the 110th farmer killed under Duterte.
The peasant communities will resolutely stand against Dutertes anti-people policies. We will strengthen our ranks and unite with fellow Filipinos against the looming dictatorship of the US-Duterte regime, Soriano ended. ###
Reference: Zen Soriano, 09214571904
31 years of injustice: Mendiola Massacre-like killings continue under Duterte
Manila, Philippines – 31 years after the bloody “Mendiola Massacre” that killed 13 protesting farmers clamoring for right to land, justice remains elusive. Peasant killings are still prevalent. Together with the peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) will march from Morayta to Mendiola Manila to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the infamous “Mendiola Massacre”.
“For 31 years we have been calling for justice for the victims of the bloody massacre, but this call seems to fall on deaf ears. 31 years after the massacre, justice remains elusive and the land that the farmers had died for has yet to be distributed. Farmers remain landless while few landlord oligarchs continue to control vast-tracts of productive lands,”
“Both farmers and fishers who provide food on everyone’s tables are the ones suffering from hunger, and are being displaced from their communities due to big projects and development aggression,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The group lambasted the current regime’s continuous neglect of the clamor of the peasant sector for right to land. Worse, the Duterte regime continues the bloody legacy of its predecessors against the Filipino peasantry. Citing the data of KARAPATAN, out of the 126 victims of political-related extra-judicial killings (EJK), 109 are farmers who were active in local struggles for land.
“President Duterte’s neglect to reinvestigate the Mendiola Massacre is not only a case of justice delayed, justice denied. But in real sense, a deliberate act to deny justice,”
“Moreover, continuous state-sanctioned attacks against the peasantry and denial of the farmers’ call for free land distribution is an insult to the memory of the farmers who died in the massacre,” added Hicap.
PAMALAKAYA said the only way to attain justice and liberation among the Filipino peasantry is through a genuine agrarian reform policy that will unconditionally distribute lands to the tillers.
“We give no hope that this administration will sincerely deliver justice to the victims of Mendiola Massacre. President Duterte is criminally liable to the millions of farmers who are still landless, especially those who are being killed under his regime,”
“Aside from free distribution of land, justice for millions of farmers can be completely obtained by holding the perpetrators of human rights violations especially the mastermind President Duterte to account,” ended Hicap. #
Manungod sa ika-31 taong Anibersaryo ng Mendiola Massacre ngayon Enero 22
Kilusang Magbubukid sa Bikol (KMB) – KMP-Bicol
Ginugunita ngayon ang Ika-31 anibersaryo ng MENDIOLA MASSACRE kung saan 13 magsasaka ang napaslang at daan-daan ang nasugatan. “Ang malagim na masaker na ito sa mga magsasaka na ang tanging hangad lang naman ay ang karapatan sa lupang binubungkal ay hindi kailanman malilimutan ng mga nagpapatuloy ng pakikibaka para sa Tunay na Reporma sa Lupa”. Ito ang bungad na pahayag ni Bert Autor.
HUSTISYA! pa rin ang panawagan para sa mga biktima ng Mendiola Massacre noong Enero 22,1987 at para sa lahat ng biktima ng pamamaslang at paglabag sa karapatang pantao ng mga magsasaka. Sa kasalukuyan sa buong bansa sa ilalim ng Pasistang Rehimeng US-Duterte ay may 126 na ang biktima ng Extra-Judicial Killing o EJK at 109 dito ay mga magsasaka.
Sa Bicol, 32 ang biktima ng EJK at 22 dito ay mula sa Sorsogon at 26 ang Political Prisoners o PPs at 12 dito ay mula rin sa Sorsogon. Sa kabuuan ay may 632 insidente ng Human Rights Violations (HRVs) na may biktimang 4,914 katao. Halos lahat ito ay mga magsasaka o pamilya ng magsasaka. Iba pa rito ang mga lider, organisador at mga simpatisador na pinapatawan ng mga inimbentong kaso at palihim na hinaharas para lamang patahimikin ang mga ito.
Ang papalalang militarista at pasistang pakana at atake ng administrasyong Duterte na pangunahing bumibiktima sa mga magsasaka at masang anakpawis ay isinasagawa sa ilalim ng OPLAN KAPAYAPAAN, “all-out war,” “gera kontra droga,” martial law sa Mindanao at sa ngayon ay ambang ipatupad sa buong bansa. Hindi nalang ang NPA/CPP/NDF ang itunuturing na “terrorista” kundi pati ang mga demokratikong organisasyon kung kaya’t dumarami rin ang mga aktibistang hinuhuli, sinasampahan ng gawa-gawang kaso at walang tigil ang mga paglabag sa karapatang pantao lalo na sa mga lugar na may isinusulong na pakikibaka para sa lupa.
Kaya kami sa hanay ng magsasaka ay nanawagan ng STOP KILLING FARMERS! Hindi kami ang dapat na ituring na kaaway ng gobyerno na basta nalang pinapatay. Ang mga salot sa lipunang Pilipino ay ang mga landgrabbers, malalaking korporasyon na sumisira sa kalupaan, kabundukan at karagatan ng bansa. Gayundin, ang mga despotikong malalaking Panginoong Maylupa na nagmamayari ng malalawak na lupain, malalaking negosyante na nagpapahirap sa mga manggagawa at mga korap na mga politiko at mga taong gobyerno at ang AFP na tagapagpatupad ng pasistang atake at militarisasyon sa kanayunan maging sa kalunsuran.” Ito ang mariing pahayag ni Bert Autor”.
Wala nang mas makabuluhang paraan upang gunitain ang alaala ng mga nasawi sa Mendiola Massacre at ng libu-libong iba pang magsasakang biktima ng dahas ng estado kundi ang tuluy-tuloy na pagsusulong sa militanteng pakikibaka para sa tunay na demokrasya at kalayaan.
Gayundin, walang ibang tugon ang militanteng kilusang magbubukid kundi ang ibayong pagbibigkis para sa makatarungang paglaban. Nakikiisa ang KMB sa pagkilos ng mga magsasaka at iba pang sektor sa Mendiola at sa iba pang lugar sa buong bansa at partikular sa Bicol ay isasagawa sa lahat ng anim na probinsya nito.
Pambungad pa lamang ito sa papalaking mga mobilisasyong bayan sa susunod na mga araw. Ubos-kayang itutuon ng kilusang magbubukid ang iba’t iba nitong pambansa at lokal na mga kampanya at pakikibaka para sa pag-aambag sa lumalawak na kilusan ng mamamayan na naglalayong labanan hanggang sa mapatalsik ang pahirap, pasista at bulok na rehimeng US-Duterte”. Pagtatapos ni Manoy Bert.
Hustisya para sa mga Biktima ng Mendiola Massacre!
Labanan at Biguin ang Naka-ambang Diktadura ni Duterte!
No to Cha-cha! No to 100% Foreign Ownership of Land!
Ref. Person: Bert Autor
Contact #: 0919-8178927
Farmers in Southern Mindanao militantly commemorates 31st year of Mendiola Massacre, asserts land rights and justice
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Southern Mindanao Region (KMP-SMR)
TAGUM CITY – Farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries mounts 2018 with protests against feudalism and militarization as they commemorate today the 31st anniversary of Mendiola Massacre wherein 13 farmers were brazenly killed by Corazon Aquino regime in 1987. The protesting farmers in Mendiola criticized the Aquino government for the ineptness of its implementation of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
Farmers, farmworkers and different agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations in Southern Mindanao storm the province of Davao del Norte, the bailiwick of Floirendos and Lorenzos and other feudal oligarchs. They protested in front of the Department of Agrarian Reform-Davao del Norte Provincial Office in Tagum City as their Kampuhan continues for almost four (4) months already, with their legitimate demands for land distribution for the farmer-beneficiaries and genuine agrarian reform.
“After 31 years, still no justice has been served for the farmer-victims of Mendiola Massacre who only demanded for land rights. With the current regime of US-Duterte, who himself favors the big landlords, capitalists, feudal oligarchs and his US Imperialist master, the plight of the Filipino peasantry perseveres. Worst, struggling farmers were killed, illegally arrested and harassed as he continues to implement anti-people policies such as Oplan Kapayapaan, declared Martial Law in Mindanao, and his Presidential Proclamation 360 terminating the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), terror-tagging of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and maligning people’s organizations with the communist rebels,” said Pedro Arnado, chairperson of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Southern Mindanao Region (KMP-SMR).
According to KMP-SMR, there are already 110 farmers killed nationwide and 43 of which are farmers killed in Southern Mindanao. The latest victim of political killings in the region is James Flores, 33, member of Pederasyon sa tanang Asosasyon sa mga Mag-uuma ug Lumad sa Agusan ug Davao (PAMULAD). Flores was shot dead by unidentified assailant on January 20, 2018 at around 6 o’clock in the evening outside a shopping mall in Tagum City.
Arnado stated that, “We strongly condemned the killing of Flores and our fellow farmers and land rights activists who became fallen victims of state fascism! Undeniably, Duterte is heartless for the peasants clamor for land and justice. Instead he and his politico-military cohorts have extended Martial Law that resulted to political killings of activists, mostly farmers.”
“The Filipino people are already disgruntled with the US-Duterte regime. We see no hope, change has not come, no justice and peace. Majority of the farmers are still landless, with this, the Filipino people will be compelled to fight and oust this fascist-dictator regime and struggle for genuine social change,” concluded the KMP-SMR chairperson.
Meanwhile, farmer-beneficiaries continue their camp-out outside DAR in Davao del Norte province to demand the immediate release of pending Installation Orders from the said agency.#
Contact No. 0950-356-3398
KATARUNGAN SA MGA BIKTIMA NG MASAKER SA MENDIOLA NOON AT MASAKER SA REHIMENG US-DUTERTE NGAYON
– Opisyal na pahayag ng PAMANTIK-KMU sa ika-31 na paggunita ng Mendiola Massacre –
Tunay na reporma sa lupa ang sigaw ng libo-libong magsasakang nagmartsa sa Mendiola noong ika-22 ng Enero 1987, ngunit mga bala ang itinugon ng gubyerno ni Cory Aquino na nagresulta sa pagkamatay ng 13 at pagkasugat ng halos 100 na nagpoprotesta.
Dahil sa naganap na masaker, napwersa ang gubyerno noon na ipatupad ang Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), ngunit napakarami nitong butas at naglingkod lamang sa mga panginoong maylupa. Ang masaker sa Mendiola ay sinundan pa ng malawakang militarisasyon at pagpaslang sa mga magsasaka noon.
Mahigit 30 taon ang nakalipas, wala pa ding hustisya para sa mga biktima ng masaker sa Mendiola. Nagpapatuloy at lumala pa nga ang masaker hindi lang ng mga magsasaka kundi ng mamamayang Pilipino sa pasistang rehimen ni Duterte.
Dahil sa all-out war, Oplan Kapayapaan, at crackdown sa mga progresibo at aktibista, mahigit 100 na ang biktima ng pampulitikang pamamaslang ng rehimeng US-Duterte. Karamihan dito ay mga magsasaka at katutubo na nakikipaglaban para sa karapatan sa lupa.
Halos 500,000 libo naman na ang biktima ng sapilitang paglikas dahil sa walang habas na aerial bombing at strafing na bunga ng malawakang militarisasyon at pandarahas ngayon. Simula ng ideklara ang martial law sa Mindanao, hindi lang Marawi ang nawasak at nagulo ang buhay ng mamamayan kundi maging ang ibang bahagi ng bansa gaya ng Batangas at Quezon sa Timog Katagalugan.
May laganap din ngayong pagmasaker sa kabuhayan ng mamamayang Pilipino.
Nariyan ang modernisasyon diumano ng pampublikong transportasyon na sa esensya ay para sa kapakinabangan ng malalaking korporasyon. Ang jeepney phase-out ay magtatanggal ng kabuhayan sa mahigit 250,000 tsuper, opereytor, at kanilang pamilya, at dagdag pabigat naman sa milyon-milyong komyuter.
Samu’t sari din ang neoliberal na patakarang nagmamasaker sa buhay at kabuhayan ng mga Pilipino. Isa na ang Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) na bagong anyo ng pagpapahirap.
Ayon sa IBON Foundation, ang pinakamahirap na 60% ng mamamayang Pilipino ay lalong mawawalan habang ang 40% kung saan kasama ang pinakamayayaman ay lalong magkakaroon. Batay sa kwenta ng IBON, taon-taon ay mawawalan ng P646 ang bawat magsasaka, P937 sa mga manggagawang bukid, P1,141 sa mga construction worker, P1,363 sa mga pampribadong guro, P1,591 sa mga bookkeeper, at P1,887 sa bawat machine tool operator. Habang kada taon din, ang 10% pinakamayayaman na kumikita ng P104,170 kada buwan ay magkakaroon ng P90,793 at ang bawat chief executive officer na kumikita ng P494,471 kada buwan ay magkakaroon ng P88,568.
Nananatili ang pakikibaka ng mga magsasaka para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa. Mabibigyan ng katarungan ang mga biktima ng Mendiola massacre kung ipagpapatuloy at ipagtatagumpay ang laban para sa libreng pamamahagi ng lupa at maka-mamamayang modernisasyon ng agrikultura sa bansa. Kailangang magkaisa ng uring manggagawa, magsasaka at iba pang mga demokratikong uri upang labanan ang pasismo ng rehimeng US-Duterte at hawanin ang landas tungo sa isang sosyalistang kaayusan na posible ang tunay na reporma sa lupa.
Hustisya para sa mga biktima ng Mendiola Massacre!
Tunay na reporma sa lupa, ipaglaban!
On 31st year of Mendiola Massacre: Peasant massacres continue under Duterte
National Network of Agrarian Reform Advocates-Youth (NNARA-Youth)
An entire generation has passed since the 1987 massacre in Mendiola. The children it has orphaned has now grown into adults facing the realities of poverty. Yet justice remains elusive. Majority of Filipino peasants remain deprived of the lands they till – the very situation which compelled thousands of them to march to the Palace gates that fateful day.
The Mendiola Massacre occurred on January 22, 1987, when troops of then-President Cory Aquino opened fire at thousands of farmers protesting at the foot of Malacanang. Thirteen died while hundreds were wounded as armed state forces chased scampering protesters down the inroads of Manila. This happened barely a year after the People Power revolt of February 25, 1986 which put Aquino in power.
Mendiola teaches us lessons on the violent and irreconcilable contradictions between the landlord class and the peasantry. But today, the noise made by Duterte supporters seem to make us remember Mendiola as an evil conjured solely by the so-called “yellows,” moreso since Aquino was still upheld as a democracy icon regimes after the carnage. However, evil also begins when we are made to remember the massacre only to forget and gloss over rampant peasant killings and massacres currently perpetrated by the state, sanctioned by the Chief Fascist Duterte himself.
Duterte’s hands are also stained with peasant blood. 109 farmers have been killed for political reasons since Duterte’s rise to power. The victims were leaders and members of peasant organizations insisting their right to land. This figure includes those killed in six incidents of massacres. The first of these occurred on September 3, 2016 in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija. Around 60 farmers were having lunch after cultivating their fields when policemen fired upon them. They scrambled for safety; but four were later found dead, riddled with bullets. Two of them were immediately buried three days after, owing to the damage on their corpses. They were members of an organization asserting their rights as beneficiaries of government land reform.
As with past administrations, peasant killings under Duterte never let up. The latest massacre occurred in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato just a month ago on December 3, 2017. That morning, 8 lumad farmers were killed on their very farmlands as they harvest coffee and corn, including community leader Datu Victor Danyan and his two sons. The same day, six others went missing and the whole community evacuated out of fear. The community is asserting their right to their indigenous lands against the grabbing of mega-corporations David M. Consunji Inc. (DMCI) and Nestle.
Duterte also seems bent to kill off farmers slowly through anti-poor policies such as the TRAIN and the pro-landlord, pro-imperialist proposals for Charter Change. Duterte’s tax reform program will hit the poorest sectors, the farmers and fisherfolks, the worst. As prices of petroleum products steadily increase, so does the cost of agricultural production and food products. Prices of commercial fertilizers rose up to P15 in some provinces. Amidst official denial of these hikes, the price of rice has actually risen at least P5 in some markets. Meanwhile, millions of peasants who have no paychecks whatsoever will not benefit at all from the program’s much touted income tax exemptions. If not bullets, hunger kills farmers.
The peasantry and the entire Filipino people can only take so much. With Duterte’s rushed campaign for one-man rule through Charter Change led by his dogs in Congress, the nation is once again facing a stark yet familiar crossroad. We are made to remember and relive how the dark days of tyranny produced in the people our best, most selfless heroes. #
Pahayag ng U.P Ugnayan ng Manunulat sa ika-31 anibersaryo ng Mendiola Massacre
Ngayong Enero 22, 2018 ang ika-31 na anibersaryo ng Mendiola Massacre. 13 ang namatay at 74 ang sugatan noong 1987. Nagmartsa ang mga magsasaka patungo sa Malacanang upang makipagdayalogo kay Presidente Corazon Aquino. Bitbit nila ang kanilang mga panawagan sa gobyerno para sa hinihiling nilang reporma sa lupa. Dinaluhan ito ng iba’t ibang militanteng grupo mula sa hanay ng mga magsasaka at manggagawang-uri. Nagkaroon ng sagupaan sa pagitan ng mga kapulisan at mga militante kung saan may nagpaputok ng baril na siyang ikinasawi at ikinasugat ng mga militanteng grupo.
Lumipas na ang 31 taon, patuloy pa rin ang pagyurak sa mga karapatang pantao ng mga magsasaka. Wala pa ring natanggap ang mga pamilya ng namatayan na kahit ano mang tulong. Hindi pa rin nabibigyan ng sariling lupa at sapat na sahod ang mga magsasaka.
Ang U.P. Ugnayan ng Manunulat ay nakikidalamhati sa mga pamilyang nawalan ng mahal sa buhay noong Mendiola Massacre. Kinukundena ng organisasyon ang ano mang uri ng karahasan laban sa mga magsasaka. Nakikiisa ang UP UGAT sa panawagan para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa. Tinututulan din ng organisasyon ang mga polisiyang hindi maka-masa na tanging ang mga naghaharing-uri lamang ang nakikinabang.
Bilang mga artista ng bayan, patuloy tayong lilikha ng mga sining na siyang sumasalamin sa mga isyu sa lipunan.
Artista ng Bayan, ngayon ay lumalaban!
MENDIOLA MASSACRE – 31 YEARS OF INJUSTICE
League of Filipino Students (LFS)
On January 22, 1987, the lives of 13 innocent farmers were claimed as government forces opened fire at an otherwise peaceful mobilization in Mendiola. Thousands of peasants and workers marched to the gates of Mendiola to demand decent wages and genuine land reform from the landlord president Cory Aquino.
Dubbed as the “Mendiola Massacre,” thousands of workers and peasants calling for legitimate demands were ruthlessly dispersed by government forces. It became clear that the ruling elite, represented by the landlord president Cory Aquino, will never implement genuine reforms.
Thirty-one (31) years following the violent incident, justice for the victims and their families remains in despair. The League of Filipino Students are one with them in calling for justice. But more than that, the League of Filipino Students are one with the workers and peasants in their struggle for decent wages and genuine land reform.
Today, workers and peasants’ conditions remain the same: depressed wages, contractualization, labor flexibilization, inhumane working conditions, no right to till their own land, land monopoly by a few, and imperialist plunder on farmlands and natural resources.
Under the Duterte administration, these conditions have only worsened. Land ownership is still concentrated in the hands of a few families, such as the Conjuangco-Aquinos. Conversion of farmlands into agribusiness plantations. Militarization of haciendas and plantations. Strengthening of contractualization. Further depression of real wages brought about by increase in prices of basic commodities. Duterte’s false promises of genuine agrarian reform and land distribution, and putting an end to contractualization has only fueled the resistance of workers and peasants.
The plunder by foreigners and local elites of our resources has time and again reinforced inequality in the country. As long as majority of our farmers and workers remain within the poorest percentile despite being the top producers of wealth for this country, there is a resounding call for genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization.
The League of Filipino Students enjoin the youth to link with our farmers and workers, and collectively struggle for our national democratic demands. Let us claim the victory of the national democratic revolution.#
THIRTY-one years have passed and justice remains elusive for the 13 slain farmers in Mendiola peacefully protesting for a genuine land reform.
Miltant groups commemorated the bloody mobilization with a protest which marched from the Department of Agrarian Reform in Quezon City Circle to Mendiola in Manila, where the massacre happened.
On January 22, 1987, thousands of farmers trooped to Mendiola wishful for a dialogue with late President Corazon Aquino. Instead of giving them their democratic right for a genuine agrarian reform, they were met by bullets from state security forces.
After the massacre, Aquino created the Citizens’ Mendiola Commission to fool the Filipino people that she is sincere in giving justice to the slain farmers. Until today, no one is punished for the crime that turned a peaceful mobilization to a violent one.
Also thirty-one years later, the land reform program of the Philippines remain rotten, only worsening the already deleterious state of farmers across the country. Land monopoly remains dominant in the country, where millions of hectares of land are owned by the ruling few.
Millions of Filipino farmers, who works more than 10 hours every day, do not own lands and struggle intensely to live and survive. This is happening while the government allows landlords and big corporations to own vast tracts of lands which exploits, kills and evicts millions of farmers.
Just recently, 2 peasant activists and a civilian was killed in separate incidents in the Caraga and Southern and Northern Mindanao region.
In fact, we can root the establishment of Haciendas, which are owned by the ruling families in the country, as a way to incessantly exploit peasants and maintain the power of the landlords and the monopoly of lands. This is one of the reasons why farmers collectively organize themselves to fight the oppressive feudal system which has kept them on the brink of death for nearly hundreds of years.
Filipino farmers are continuously deceived by stupid and ill-witted land reforms such as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms. They are tricked to believe that there is hope in reforms. In reality, hope remains futile for them.
The culture of impunity remains rampant in the country, especially under President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous regime. He continues to only employ deceptive tactics and even kills hundreds of farmers under his counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan. No amount of concealment can cover how Duterte and the past puppets of the United States torments and agonizes the millions of Filipino farmers.
One thing is certain amid the intensifying fascist attacks of the US-Duterte regime to farmers and the Filipino people: they will retract and fight back against a tyrant. Duterte, who is swimming in the blood of the Filipino people, will be toppled by the toiling masses and will take back their democratic rights slaughtered by the wannabe dictator.#
Thousands of farmers marched to Malacañang to demand for land distribution and decent wages on January 22, 1987. However, former PH President Cory Aquino and her armed forces answered them with bloody dispersal and gun shots in Mendiola that took the lives of 13 farmers. Thirty-one years after the brutal carnage, the victims haven’t attained justice.
The semi-feudal character of the country still perpetuates today exploiting millions of Filipinos.This social system is in a constant crisis afflicted by foreign monopoly capitalism and domestic feudalism for these forces continue to persist and maintain their dominance as they restrict the growth of productive forces and use political repression. The peasant and farmers sector are exploited through land grabbing, decreased farming wages, and worsening militarization perpetuated by the landlords and big bourgeoisie comprador under the impetus of US imperialism. The peasants and our national minorities continue to be harassed by military forces and operations within their communities;
Various cases of human rights violations perpetuated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) continue to rise number in Mindanao, Eastern Visayas, and other parts of the country. The Philippine government has long fought for bogus-agrarian reform program in the form of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with extended reform (CARPER) which puts the interest of the farming class as a secondary agenda in contrast to the privileges given to landlords and large land owners.
The NUSP-SMR believes that only national democratic revolution can we achieve social justice and national industrialization. We must stand firm in intensifying our calls for justice, not just for the fallen victims of the Mendiola Massacre, but also to all the Filipinos who are being exploited because of the semi-feudal and semi-colonial character of the country.
LUPA PARA SA MGA MAGSASAKA, IPAGLABAN!
Genuine Land Reform Now!
Establish National Industrialization!