37th Anniversary of the Mendiola Massacre

January 22, 2024

by MASIPAG National Office

MASIPAG’s Continued Demand for Justice in the 37th year of commemoration of Mendiola Massacre

On the 37th year of commemoration of Mendiola Massacre, Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG) registers in the highest term the call for justice for the martyred 13 individuals and the hundreds of farmers who were injured on that tragic day. The farmer-led network likewise calls on the government for the immediate passage and implementation of genuine agrarian reform that would once and for all solve these systematic injustices that Filipino farmers have been facing for the longest time – the kind of genuine agrarian reform that the 20,000 farmers and land reform advocates were calling in that bloody day had been calling towards the government.

Whether the delay of a genuine agrarian reform by the past administrations and the current one is either a matter of political will or technocratic issue, the present challenges that we face in food and agriculture is now being made worse amid the espousal of anti-farmer policies such as Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Rice Tariffication Law, Anti-Terror Law, and the now proposed Charter Change that forwards 100% foreign ownership of our own lands specifically our prime agricultural lands.

Since coming into power, Marcos Jr. administration has been betting our fate on corporate and foreign investors that’s only interest is profit and rampant plundering of our natural resources. Mind bogglingly as it is, we are currently facing hunger amidst plenty as our general access to food becomes narrower while certain municipalities are experiencing oversupply of it while having no access to local markets to distribute and sell.

In the same manner as liberalizing our land for corporate investors through RCEP and RTL, the Marcos Jr. administration has also further liberalized and stunted our food and agriculture system by also allowing the entry of genetically modified crops that was told to “solve” malnutrition. The same genetically modified crops that is only for unsustainable chemical agriculture and is already rendered useless, and in fact an insult amid the hundreds of tons of naturally rich vegetables that was wasted and being wasted due to the lack of proper access to local market.

From 37 years ago up to now, the Filipino farmers can no longer afford to be neglected further by the government of what is truly theirs and what is truly the solution to these crises- their sovereignty over land, seed, technology, and agricultural production that shall be the foundation of a sustainable food system.

Believing that the right to land, the same as the right to seeds and technology in order to achieve our empowerment and food sovereignty, is also believing that in struggling for the right to land, namely struggling for genuine agrarian reform is also struggling for genuine and lasting peace: food security, economic stability and sustainability for our Filipino farmers.

MASIPAG is one with the countless farmers, land and peasant advocates in continuously demanding justice for the victims of Mendiola Massacre. We enjoin everyone in supporting the Filipino farmers’ uphill struggle for genuine agrarian reform.