Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Heinous, Incredulous MENDIOLA MASSACRE, January 22, 1987

by Jesusa Bernardo

STUNNED. That's the best word to describe my mind's reaction to the Mendiola Massacre.  Exactly 24 years ago today, Thursday morning when I learned of the massacre incident that occurred at historic Mendiola the previous day.

I remember walking into the college library and seeing from a distance the headline in a newspaper my classmate was reading, held up with both hands to eye level. The picture of the lifeless bodies on the streets. The headline says Mendiola. Oh, well, he's reading an archive newspaper from Ferdinand Marcos' dictatorship days, I thought.

Taking my seat beside him, I learned a most incredulous truth. That was no old Martial Law newspaper. The headline--it was that day's major news! Shocking, shocking news! After driving away the "evil" dictator, that Marcos, that heartless 'human-rights violator,' and installing the good gal, widow of beloved hero Ninoy Aquino via the most peaceful EDSA  revolution, we get this????

How can farmer rallyists be possibly  murdered just like that under the "democratic" presidency of Tita Cory? Marcos, the 'bad guy,' is gone, right? It actually took several seconds (or was it minutes?) before that reality sank in. It was simply unbelievable.

NOT Cory. ???

At any rate, Ninoy was my hero and his widow, the restorer of Philippine democracy. My mind had to reconcile the fact of the heinous Mendiola massacre with my view of the Corazon Cojuangco Aquino presidency. It must be the fascist military elements, I thought. No way Cory could have ordered that. That coup-plotting Juan Ponce Enrile and his RAM boys must have been behind that gruesome daylight massacre.

Of course, now I know better. Cory could not have been that innocent because, otherwise, her administration should have allowed the State to be sued.  The case that began from the suit filed by the heirs of the 13 deceased victims and the injured who sued for damages against the Philippine Republic was eventually dismissed, affirmed by the Supreme Court because the State refused to given its consent to be sued. Besides, Cory was not exactly friends to noisy farmers who demand the just call of land reform. Cory's land reform program--the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)--was baloney since she  couldn't even set the 'supreme sacrifice'  of her family's Hacienda Luisita to genuine land distribution.

Fake, (Hacienda Luisita) Designer Land Reform

While the 1987 Mendiola Massacre involving the death of farmers pressing for genuine agrarian reform seemed to have made Cory speed up the implementation of land reform but not without first inserting a novel Stock Distribution Option (SDO) into her Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program or CARP (now the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law or CARL). The SDO gives farmer tenants shares in a plantation corporation without actually transferring land. SDO had been criticized not only as possibly unconstitutional but more so, as a way for landowners to keep control of the land and farmers–and for the Cojuangco-Aquinos to avoid distributing Hacienda Luisita. As well, the Cory administration had the Court of Appeals dismiss the government case filed against the TADECO owners, who were no less than the President’s own family and kin (she is said to have divested herself of personal shares in the company).

When CARP took effect in 1989, the Cojuangco family adopted the SDO option despite many criticisms that the option disadvantaged the farmers. Only less than 5,000 out of the nearly 6,500 hectares of the original Hacienda Luisita land were submitted to the Agrarian Reform department. The exclusion of the combined 386.6 hectares of residential, commercial, road and other land improvement portions of the hacienda markedly lowered the value of land earmarked for land reform to only P40,000 per hectare. The valuation process was also seen as irregular if not appropriate, with the standing crop not only being included but also being categorized as non-land asset. The result is that when the land was incorporated into what is now Hacienda Luisita, Inc. (HLI) as spin-off of TADECO, the farmers became nominal shareholders, getting only 33.296% versus the 66.704 percent shares of the Cojuangco-Aquinos.

Gruesome Open Massacre

I found this actual video of the bloody, "historic" massacre 24 years and one day ago, LESS THAN A YEAR into the Cory Aquino presidency. The video is rather so gruesome that watching it yesterday initially made me don the same incredulous reaction I had back in my college days when I first learned the news of Mendiola Massacre.

Mendiola Massacre January 22, 1987 - The Massacre
Uploaded by kmppio. - Up-to-the minute news videos.

The military back then--up to now--even had the guts to blame the farmer groups for supposedly having been infiltrated by the communist New People's Army (NPA).  That was usual red scare stuff, of course. It is perhaps fortunate that some survivors of the "Black Thursday" massacre are still alive to tell their grim tales. Teresita Arjona, who was with her mother during the rally, tells of "owner-type" jeeps  running around as the protesters were being shot at. Communist handiwork? I don't think so.

Photo by Jo A. Santos /
Pedro Gonzalez:
“Suddenly I heard shots. I didn’t know at first that they were gunshots; it sounded more like clapping. First it was intermittent, then soon the sound was loud and deafening. There was chaos, everyone began running away from the sound of gunfire. Men, women, children were running. Yes, there were children with us that day. I also ran, and I am a little ashamed even now to admit that I failed to help those whom I saw fall on the pavement. It was all I could do to keep from falling myself.”

Click here to read the story

Photo by Jo A. Santos /

Teresita Arjona:
“Everyone was running, running every which way. All I could think of was getting to Lawton where the caravan vehicles were; that and returning to my children. I didn’t know what happened to Danilo, I didn’t see if he was able to run or get away. I was crying as I ran and I didn’t immediately notice that my mother and I were both barefoot. The streets were littered with slippers and bags and streamers and placards. People were yelling, but I didn’t know if it was in pain or in outrage,” she says.

Nanay Tess herself felt rage when she saw, even as she ran for safety, that there were “owner-type” jeeps driving alongside the protestors who were scurrying for safety. “They were shooting at us, at everyone who was running!” she says, anger in her eyes, in her voice.
Click here to read the story

Mendiola Massacre according to Bulatlat (excerpts):
On Jan. 22, 1987, some 10,000 to 15,000 farmers marched from the agrarian reform office in Quezon City to Mendiola in Manila to remind the late former president Corazon C. Aquino to make good on her word to implement genuine agrarian reform. According to reports, anti-riot personnel under the command of then Capital Regional Command commander Gen. Ramon Montaño, Task Force Nazareno under the command of Col. Cesar Nazareno and police forces under the command of Western Police District (WPD) Chief Brig. Gen. Alfredo Lim had been prepared to block the protestors.

The phalanx of civil disturbance control units was comprised of policemen from the WPD, members of the Integrated National Police Field Force, members of the Philippine Marine Corps, and the Marine Civil Disturbance Control Battalion. Behind the line of these fully armed personnel were army trucks, water cannons, fire trucks and two Mobile Dispersal Teams prepared to launch tear gas.
At the back of the marines were four 6×6 army trucks, occupying the entire width of Mendiola street, followed immediately by two water cannons, one on each side of the street and eight fire trucks, four trucks on each side of the street. Stationed farther behind the CDC forces were the two Mobile Dispersal Teams (MDT) each composed of two tear gas grenadiers, two spotters, an assistant grenadier, a driver and the team leader.

As the farmers reached Claro M. Recto, the government forces attacked. In the melee, 13 farmers were killed, 39 were wounded by gunshots, and 20 suffered various injuries. Killed were Danilo Arjona, Evangelio, Leopoldo Alonzo, Angelito Guiterrez, Adelfa Aribe, Rodrigo Grampan, Dionisio Bautista, Bernabe Laquindanum, Roberto Caylo, Sonny Boy Perez, Vincent Campomanes, Roberto Yumul, and Ronilo Dumanico.

In the immediate aftermath of the massacre, the peace panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) withdrew from peace talks with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).



24 Years Later, the Wounds of Mendiola Still Bleed. 22 January 2010.
Atty. Fred. The Mendiola Massacre: What Happened according to Jurisprudence. 22 January 2008.
Silverio, Inna Alleco. Farmers Urge Noynoy to Reopen Mendiola Massacre Case. 14 January 2011.

Photo art: Jesusa Bernardo

Photo credits:

Jo A. Santos /
Noynoy Hacienda Luisita- The Real Story-Part 1. Youtube.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Katipunan Founding Speech of Andres Bonifacio

by Jesusa Bernardo

The Katipunan was founded following the arrest of patriot and polymath Jose P. Rizal on July 6, 1892. The development made clear to members of the illustrado-initiated, civic society La Liga Filipina, which Rizal established three days earlier, that the colonial Spanish authorities are out to suppress any organization that is openly pro-Filipino.

Reacting with combined grief and patriotic anger over Rizal's arrest, Andres Bonifacio invited  Deodato Arellano, Briccio Pantás, Teodoro Plata, Valentin Díaz, Ladislaw Diwà and José Dizon to a meeting on July 6 or 7, which brought forth the founding of the Kataastaasan Kagalang-galang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK).  The Katipunan was a secret society that aspired to unite the country and to gain independence from the Spaniards through the force of revolution.

How Bonifacio, who would still work with the La Liga until its disbandment, even becoming its chief of propaganda owing to his effective personality and communications skills, initiated and powered the Philippine Revolution is perhaps well seen in his speech on that fateful day of the KKK founding. The speech Bonifacio delivered so convinced his co-founders to establish the revolutionary organization, as follows:
"Mga Capatid:"

"Tayo'y di mg?a pantás, caya hindî mariringal na talumpatî at dî maririkit na sulat ang ating idaraos; sa gawâ natin daanin: ang catubusa'y hindî nacucuha sa salita ó sa sulat; kinácamtan sa pagsasabog ng dugô."

"Talastas na ninyo ang calupitáng guinawâ sa ating capatid na si Dr. Rizal, iya'y maliwanag na halimbawang nagpapakilala sa ating di tayo macaliligtas sa caalipnan cung dî daraanin sa pakikibaca."

"¡Sucat na ang pagpapacababà! ¡Sucat na na ang pangangatuwiran! ¡Nangatuwiran si Rizal ay hinuli pagcatapos na mapag-usig ang mg?a magulang, capatid, kinamag-anacan at cacampí!"

"¡Sucat na! Papagsalitain natin naman ang sandata! ¿Na tayo'y pag-uusiguin, mabibilango, ipatatapon, papatayin? Hindî dapat nating ipanglumó ang lahat ng? ito, mabuti pa ng?a ang tayo'y mamatay cay sa manatili sa pagcabusabos."

"At ng maganap natin ang dakilang cadahilanan ng pagpupulong nating ito'y ating maitayô ang isáng malacás, matibay at macapangyarihang catipunan ng? mg?a anác ng? Bayan."

"¡Mabuhay ang Filipinas!!!"
Perhaps, the impact of the speech and  the speaker was so patriotically moving such that sans any reservations, the gentlemen present agreed to form the Katipunan, envisioned to be a powerful and strong society of the children of the land.

The Katipunan would later form its Supreme Council, with the following set of officers:

    * Deodato Arellano, Supreme President
    * Andrés Bonifacio, comptroller
    * Ladislao Diwa, fiscal
    * Teodoro Plata, secretary
    * Valentín Díaz, treasurer

Bonifacio would not become Katipunan Supremo until January 1895. On August 30, 1896, following the discovery of its existence by the Spaniards, Bonifacio and fellow Katipuneros elected to launch the Revolution in what would be known as the First Cry, transforming the underground society into a revolutionary government body. By that time, KKK membership has ballooned to tens, if not, hundreds of thousands.

The Philippines/Katagalugan has become a nation willing to claim its independence and sovereignty.Salamat kay Gat Andres Bonifacio na ang diwang at wikang mapaghimagsik ay nagtulak sa bayan na ipaglaban ang kalayaan. 

(Reposted from my other blog, Blog by TAGA-ILOG News)



Agoncillo, Teodoro C. (1990). History of the Filipino People (8th ed.). Quezon City: Garotech Publishing. ISBN 971-8711-06-6

James Alfred LeRoy. The Americans in the Philippines: a history of the conquest and first years of occupation, with an introductory account of the Spanish rule, Volume 1. Houghton Mifflin Col, 1914

Milagros C. Guerrero, Emmanuel N. Encarnacion, & Ramon N. Villegas. Andres Bonifacio and the 1896 Revolution. 16 July 2003.

Pascual H. Poblete. Buhay at Mga Ginawa ni Dr. Jose Rizal. Project Gutenberg, 2006.

Reyes, Isabelo de los (1899) (in Spanish). La Sensacional memoria sobre la revolución filipina. Madrid: Tip. lit. de J. Corrales

Ricarte, Artemio. The Hispano-Philippine Revolution. Yokohama  This book was published by Ricarte himself, includes his memoirs on the Philippine Revolution.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

2011 na*!*!*!*


at sa BUONG MUNDO!!!!!!!

╔╗╔╦══╦═╦═╦╗╔╗ ★ ★ ★
║╚╝║══║═║═║╚╝║ ☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆
║╔╗║╔╗║╔╣╔╩╗╔╝ ★ NEW YEAR ☆ 2011
╚╝╚╩╝╚╩╝╚╝═╚╝ ♥¥☆★☆★☆¥♥ ★☆

☆☆♥░▓▓▓▓▓░░░░▓▓▓▓▓░░░▓▓░░░░▓▓░♫░░☆ ☆☆░░░♫░░▓▓░░▓░░░░░▓░▓▓▓░░░▓▓▓░♥☆☆ ☆☆░░♥░░░▓▓░░▓░░░░░▓░░░▓░░░░░▓░♫☆☆ ☆☆░♫░░▓▓░░░░▓░░░░░▓░░░▓░░░░░▓░♫░☆☆ ☆☆░░░▓▓░░░░░▓░░░░░▓░░░▓░░░░░▓░♥░☆☆ ☆☆░♥▓▓░░░░░░▓░░░░░▓░░░▓░░░░░▓░♫░☆☆ ☆☆♫░▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░▓▓▓▓▓░░░▓▓▓░░░▓▓▓░░♥░°ϟ

Photo art: Jesusa Bernardo

Raw photo credits:

Popular Posts