There won’t be repeat of Mendiola Massacre under Duterte—Palace | Inquirer News
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There won’t be repeat of Mendiola Massacre under Duterte—Palace

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 06:34 PM January 20, 2017
Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

Malacañang assured Friday that an incident like the Mendiola Massacre would not happen under the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“That will not happen under this government as you can see the President has allowed, in fact has encouraged protests, demonstrations on the streets if they want to so express their grievance or any opposition to any policy of the government,” Presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said in an ambush interview.

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On Jan. 22, 1987, 13 farmers were killed when security forces opened fire as thousands of land reform advocates marched on Mendiola Bridge.

Asked about a progress to the case, Panelo said the government was not neglecting the issue.

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“I think that is being taken care of by the present administration,” he said without elaborating.

But Panelo assured that the Duterte administration would respect the rights of the citizens to protest against the government.

“With respect to the Mendiola Massacre, I think it is a lesson that we should learn that you cannot stop citizens from protesting, which is a guaranteed right under the constitution. And no gov’t can abused its right to enforce the law in violation of that law using it as an excuse to maim, kill or injure protesters,” he said.

“That will not happen under this government as you can see the President has allowed, in fact has encouraged protests, demonstrations on the streets if they want to so express their grievance or any opposition to any policy of the government,” he added.

Duterte earlier said demonstrators could “protest without limits” amid public condemnation from his decision to allow former President Ferdinand Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. He said mass actions could go on as on long as protesters want even without permits.

READ: Duterte to demonstrators: You can protest with no limit

In a statement, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) lamented how justice has been evasive for the victims.

“No one was arrested and indicted for the gruesome massacre of farmers demanding for land reform. The Cojuangco-Aquinos are still in power in Hacienda Luisita. Landlords are still in control of vast tract of lands and haciendas remain intact,” Antonio Flores, Secretary General of KMP, said. IDL

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TAGS: mass action, Mendiola Massacre, protest, Rodrigo Duterte, Salvador Panelo
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