ILOILO City – The bloody Mendiola massacre on January 22, 1987 happened while farmers were demanding for land to till as promised by the newly instituted democratic government under then President Corazon Aquino.
What should have been a peaceful rally of thousands of farmers turned bloody as members of the armed police forces rained bullets on unarmed land tillers.
Their calls, land to the landless and genuine land reform, resulted to 13 farmers killed and scores sustained wounds.
Thirty years after, farmers still face the same issues of worsening landlessness and impunity.
According to Pamanggas, nine of ten farmers remained landless while more than 200 were killed under Duterte.
Today, as they commemorate the death of 13 farmers, they vowed to continue their struggles and intensify the campaign for genuine land reform./www.panaytoday.net