“Justice for the victims of the fascist state! Forward genuine agrarian reform now!”, farmers shout as they conduct a mass movement last January 22 to commemorate the 33rd year of the Mendiola Massacre.
Mendiola Massacre happened on January 22, 1987 where state forces gunned down protesters who were calling to forward a genuine and comprehensive land reform during the administration of Cory Aquino. This caused the death of 13 farmers and more than 50 injuries among the protesters.
A statement by Paghugpong sang mga Mangunguma sa Panay kag Guimaras or PAMANGGAS narrates that justice remains elusive to the farmers after 33 long years. Their condition only worsened with the intensified attacks against the farmers sector that is being perpetuated by the Duterte regime, they continue.
In their statement, they also discussed the worsening condition of the economy which continues to burden farmers due to TRAIN Law and the Rice Liberalization Law that were implemented by the Duterte administration who continue to cater to the needs of oligarchs and land grabbers such as Villar.
PAMANGGAS adds that attacks on human rights have continued to intensify with the policies that Duterte has implemented such as M.O 32, E.O 70, and Martial Law in Mindanao. Over 243 farmers have been slain under the Duterte administration, while redtagging and illegal arrests of leader-activists of peasant organizations become rampant.
PAMANGGAS adds that said attacks by the state have not weakened their organization but only added to their determination to forward their rights and call for genuine land reform.
Farmers call for justice for all victims of the state, the passage of genuine agrarian reform, and the resumption of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
According to the group, the government must take seriously the call for the resumption of peace talks so as to address the root cause of the armed conflict by forwarding genuine agrarian reform, national industrialization, and other socio-economic needs of the people./PT