31 years of no justice and continuing Mendiola Massacre-like killings under Duterte
Manila, Philippines – 31 years after the bloody “Mendiola Massacre” that killed 13 protesting farmers clamoring for right to land, justice remains elusive and the killings against the peasant sector 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 tomorrow to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the infamous “Mendiola Massacre”.
“Our 31 years of call to give justice for the victims of the bloody massacre seem to fall to deaf ears. 31 years after the massacre, justice remains elusive and the land that the farmers had died for has yet to be attained. 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 table are the ones suffering from hunger, and are being displaced from their community in exchange for projects of development aggression,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The group lambasted the current regime’s continuous neglect on the clamor of the peasant sector for right to land. Worse is that the Duterte regime is continuing 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, the continuity of state-sanctioned attacks against the peasantry and denial of a free land distribution is insult and bastardization of 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 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. ###