Noynoy dared: Re-open Mendiola Massacre case

SEVENTEEN days before the commemoration of the 24th anniversary of the infamous Mendiola Massacre, the militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) yesterday urged President Benigno Aquino III to re-open the 24-year-old case.

Thirteen farmers were killed and 100 others were injured during the bloody dispersal of a farmer’s rally demanding free land distribution from the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino.

In a press statement, KMP secretary-general Danilo Ramos said the Mendiola Massacre, which took place on January 22, 1987 at the Chino Roces Bridge or more popularly known as Mendiola Bridge is not about a past being revisited or  a chapter of a dark history being recalled on commemorative basis, but a living and continuing search of peasants for land and justice.

“We challenge the 50-year-old President to re-open the Mendiola Massacre case and pursue a full-blown and independent probe. The murderers are still out there and worse, nobody from past administrations and even under Mr. Aquino’s administration dares to revive the investigation which is being demanded since 1987,” the KMP leader said.

From January 15-21, 1987, the KMP led militant farmers from Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon provinces staged a camp-out outside the Ministry of Agrarian Reform (MAR) office then headed by agrarian reform minister Heherson Alvarez. The farmers were demanding the immediate free distribution of lands under the Aquino administration.

On January 22, about 10,000 to 15,000 farmers marched from the agrarian reform office in Quezon City to Mendiola to ask Mrs. Aquino to make true of her promise to implement genuine land reform.

But farmers were violently dispersed by military and police forces when the protesters reached Mendiola.  D’Jay Lazaro

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