BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Members of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Negros and other progressive groups under BAYAN-Negros will stage a protest tomorrow (January 21) at the Fountain of Justice in Bacolod City, in line with the commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the Mendiola massacre.
KMP spokesperson Danilo Tabura yesterday said that since 1987, the families of the victims of the Mendiola massacre continue to demand for justice.
The incident on January 12, 1987 left 13 farmers dead and injured over 100 others after the police and Philippine Marines sprayed bullets on more than 15,000 workers, who were members of KMP, at the Mendiola Bridge. No one has been convicted for the crime.
Tabura said they are calling for justice for all the victims of the state, as well as demand for the implementation of genuine land reform; cancellation of ammortization on farmlands under PD No. 27; distribution of free farmlands; and wages for sugar workers.
These issues have not been addressed after 35 years and that instead, the response given by the Duterte administration is massacres and extra-judicial killings (EJKs), he said.
There are over 300 victims of EJKs in the whole country and this include 106 from the Island of Negros. Among the victims were land rights and human rights activists like Negrense lawyer Ben Ramos and Zara Alvarez, Councilor Toto Patigas, and couple Dr. Rose and Edwin Sancelan, Tabura said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has restored the dark Martial Law days of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos through the implementation of E.O. No. 70, Memorandum Order No. 32, and the passage of the Anti-Terror Law, he said.
“We strongly condemn and oppose the return of the Marcos-Duterte regime to power, which history has proven to have only brought so much sufferings to the farmworkers,” he added.*