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Mendiola Massacre


Thirteen people were killed while several others were injured on January 22, 1987, when authorities violently dispersed a farmers' march at Mendiola Bridge in Manila. Dubbed as the "Mendiola Massacre", the incident was the culmination of the protest action of the militant group Kilusang Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (KMP), which demanded genuine agrarian reform from the Aquino government. Events leading up to the Mendiola Massacre 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 their sympathizers aired their problems and demanded genuine agrarian reform. Dialogues were held between the farmers, represented by 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 and prevented the employees from going to their offices. 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. Mendiola Massacre: January 22, 1987 Tadeo's group 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, and League of Filipino Students 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 Montaño, Task Force Nazareno commander Col. Cesar Nazareno and Western Police District Chief Police Brig. Gen. Alfredo Lim were deployed in the vicinity of Malacañang. They marchers numbered about 10,000-15,000 by the time they reached C.M. Recto Avenue that afternoon. They breached police lines, clashing against police and military personnel. The protesters' steel bars, wooden clubs and lead pipes came to blows with the authorities' shields and truncheons. Gunshots were fired, even after the demonstrators began to retreat. Casualties * 12 marchers confirmed dead; later reports cite 13 killed * 39 marchers sustained gunshot wounds * 12 marchers sustained minor injuries * 3 police/military personnel sustained gunshot wounds * 20 sustained minor injuries Victims (13 killed) 1. Danilo Arjona 2. Leopoldo Alonzo 3. Adelfa Aribe 4. Dionisio Bautista 5. Roberto Caylao 6. Vicente Campomanes 7. Ronilo Dumanico 8. Dante Evangelio 9. Angelito Gutierrez 10. Rodrigo Grampan 11. Bernabe Laquindanum 12. Sonny Boy Perez 13. Roberto Yumul Sources: Supreme Court, GMANews.tv, Bulatlat.com, Inquirer
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