Ayon Sa Kasaysayan
Tula ni M..J. Rafal
Mga larawan ni Luis Liwanag

ayon sa kasaysayan
kumpol ng maliit na isla
ang dating sakop ng Mendiola
libingan ng mga lakan
at bayani


ang dating maputik na sakop
na nang lumao’y
tinirikan ng lupalop ng kaharian
ng mga sugapa sa kapangyarihan


ayon sa kasaysayan
dito sumiklab ang maraming labanan
dito naitanim ang maraming kamatayan
ng mga magsasaka


dito naukit ang maraming karahasan
sa mga estudyante’t aktibista
dito kung saan patuloy na umaawit
ang musika ng protesta


ayon sa kasaysayan
kumpol ng maliit na isla
ang dating sakop ng Mendiola
naging libingan ng mararangal



at sang-ayon sa kuwentong ito
ng kasaysayan
dito uusbong ang ganap
na kalayaan
dito kung saan iniuukit
ang makauring digmaan




On January 22, 1987, over 20,000 farmers marched to Mendiola to press for genuine land reform promised by then Pres. Corazon “Cory” Conjuangco-Aquino. Cory has just ascended to presidency after the February 1986 toppled the dictator Ferdinand Marcos and brought with her the promise of democracy, land reform, justice and social change. However, the protest ended with a violent dispersal by state forces who opened fire against the farmers.

13 protesters were killed and several others were left wounded in what is now known as the Mendiola Massacre.

Slain in the massacre were Adelfa Aribe, Danilo Arjona, Ronilo Domanico, Dante Evangelio, Bernabe Laquindanum, Roberto Yumul, Leopoldo Alonzo, Dionisio Bautista, Roberto Caylao, Sonny Boy Perez, Vicente Campomanes, Angelito Gutierrez, and Rodrigo Grampan. They are remembered as martyrs of the cause of genuine land reform, not only by their families, but also by the thousands of farmers and other sectors who until now fight for the same cause. 

28 years after the massacre, another Conjuangco-Aquino holds the most powerful seat in the government—Pres. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III—but justice remains elusive to the 13 who were killed, all those who were harassed and injured that day, and to millions of peasants and their families who remain in landlessness, hunger and poverty.


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