Don’t blame us for Mendiola massacre–Palace
MANILA, Philippines—While the Aquino administration is “saddened” by the loss of lives in the Mendiola massacre 28 years ago, Malacañang on Thursday opposed critics’ view that President Benigno Aquino III is accountable for the deaths of the farmers demanding agrarian during the term of his mother, the late President Corazon Aquino.
“It is a historical event remembered annually… But perhaps it is not appropriate or timely to lay it at the door of the current administration, as everybody knows that this did not happen today. It is not right, it is not reasonable to make the current administration responsible for it,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.
Coloma was responding to a question noting that the slain farmers have yet to get justice after nearly three decades since the massacre.
Thirteen farmers were killed when security forces opened fire as thousands of land reform advocates marched on Mendiola Bridge on Jan. 22, 1987.
They urged then President Cory Aquino to implement genuine land reform by distributing land to farmers.
Coloma said he was not certain if those commemorating the Mendiola massacre are calling for justice from the incumbent administration.
“If people had been charged, the process is with the judiciary. That is not under the administration. Perhaps, what we can say is up to now, of course, we are saddened by the loss of lives. We know that this should not have happened and the leaders of government at that time also did not want anyone killed in the middle of expressing their demands,” Coloma said in Filipino.
President’s Aquino mother had pushed for a Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, seen as among the policies that supported social justice and equality after more than two decades of martial rule.
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