Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:21 pm (PST)
Back in 1987 Jan. 22, thousands of farmers stormed out to protest and demand from the government genuine land reform. It did happen - Thousands stormed the streets headed by The Kilusang Magbubukid Ng Pilipinas (KMP).
They were met with indiscriminate strafing of the military and such taking the lives of thirteen farmers and leaving hundreds either traumatized or wounded.
While the episode is etched in history as one of the foremost blunder of a government created from the first People Power which boasts of a genuine revolution from the masses, this experience created more questions than what one can imagine of the left.
A talk with former NPA members gave their sides of the story behind the tragedy. One interesting viewpoint is the theory of former cadres blaming the National Democratic Front (NDF) on the demise of the protest action.
According to them they later found out that there were orders from their higher-ups to actually stir a riot and some were even ordered to bring guns from their ranks. This came from the organizers themselves who were from the frontlines of the rally bewildered by the fact that somebody from them is actually pointing their guns at the military. They only found out about this when their members were already dead.
"It is later that we found out that the higher organ ordered that we storm the palace and claim the seat of government for ourselves and the party, it was never mentioned to us organizers. It was also found out that the main idea behind it is to cut down any plausible means of peace talks with the government." said an organizer of the mendiola protest.
While many claim the Machiavellian tactics of the Left at that time even making them responsible in the bombing of the Plaza Miranda to spark more protest against the government, and eventually gain more sympathy for them. More former activists and comrades backed the claim by pointing out the eventual "Purges" of the Left for possible infiltrators introducing torture and murder amongst others.
"The Left by then always thought that it is best to sacrifice a few for the sake of the many, and it is unfortunate that they practice it by any means whether by torture or indiscriminate murder of fellow comrades" said a Communist Purge survivor.
It is interesting to note however that not much is written on the subject of the left and its
"mistakes". Either they are dismissed as paranoias or fantasies created by the military to sow hatred against the progressive left. And given the clandestine nature of the organization we can never really prove anything unless we look at the remains of fallen comrades and look them in the eye. Perhaps in their hollows we could find a glimpse of truth, nonetheless we
keep on searching.
This amongst others is just one of the interesting angles in the history of Mendiola and the Left.
For Mendiola Massacre pics click here
http://philippinere view.blogspot. com/