Mendiola massacre

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Mendiola massacre
Location Mendiola Street, San Miguel, Manila, Philippines
Date January 22, 1987
approximately 4:30 p.m. (UTC +8)
Target Demonstration
Attack type
Weapons Small arms
Deaths 13[1][2]
Non-fatal injuries
74 (51 demonstrators, 23 state security forces)[1][2]
Perpetrators Philippine state security forces

The Mendiola massacre, also called Black Thursday[3][4] by some Filipino journalists, was an incident that took place in Mendiola Street, San Miguel, Manila, Philippines on January 22, 1987, in which state security forces violently dispersed a farmers' march to Malacañang Palace. Thirteen of the farmers were killed and many wounded when government anti-riot forces opened fire on them. The farmers were demanding fulfillment of the promises made regarding land reform during the Presidential campaign of Cory Aquino, and distribution of lands at no cost to beneficiaries.[5]


By January 1987, the administration of Corazon C. Aquino had been in power less than a year since the ouster Ferdinand E. Marcos as President of the Philippines. The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Filipino, "Peasants' Movement of the Philippines"), a militant farmers' group led by Jaime Tadeo, demanded genuine agrarian reform from the Aquino government.[6]

On January 15, 1987, members of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas encamped at the Ministry of Agrarian Reform (now the Department of Agrarian Reform) in Diliman, Quezon City. The group presented their problems and demands, one of which was the free distribution of land to farmers.[4] Dialogue between the farmers, represented by Jaime Tadeo, and the government, represented by then Agrarian Reform minister Heherson Alvarez took place on January 20, 1987. Alvarez promised to bring the matter to the President's attention during the next day's cabinet meeting.

The farmers barricaded the Ministry of Agrarian Reform offices on January 21, 1987 and prevented government employees from exiting the building. A negotiating panel was to be assembled the following day for further talks.

March to Malacañang[edit]

On January 22, 1987, the farmers decided to march to Malacañang Palace in order to air their demands instead of negotiating with Heherson Alvarez. Marching from the Quezon Memorial Circle, Tadeo's group was joined by members of other militant groups: Kilusang Mayo Uno (May One Movement), Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance), League of Filipino Students and Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod (Unity Congress of the Urban Poor). At 1:00 in the afternoon, the marchers reached Liwasang Bonifacio and held a brief presentation. At around the same time, anti-riot personnel under the command of Capital Regional Command commander Gen. Ramon Montaño, Task Force Nazareno under the command of Col. Cesar Nazareno and police forces under the command of Western Police District Chief Brig. Gen. Alfredo Lim were deployed around the vicinity of Malacañang.

The first line of civil disturbance control units consisted of policemen from the Western Police District. About ten yards behind the policemen were Integrated National Police Field Force units. The third line, a further ten yards from the second police line, consisted of a Philippine Marine Corps unit, the Marine Civil Disturbance Control Battalion. Positioned behind the Marines were army trucks, water cannons, fire trucks and two Mobile Dispersal Teams equipped with tear gas delivery gear.

The marchers numbered 10,000–15,000 by the time they reached Recto Avenue. They clashed with the police, and the police lines were breached. At this point, gunshots were heard and the marchers disengaged from the melee, retreating towards Claro M. Recto Avenue. Sporadic gunfire could be heard amidst the withdrawal. Alfredo Lim, former[when?] Mayor(2007) of Manila, maintains that the Marines were responsible for the shooting.[7]


Twelve marchers were immediately confirmed dead; later sources would cite thirteen. Thirty-nine had gunshot wounds and 12 sustained minor injuries. On the state security forces' side, three sustained gunshot wounds and 20 suffered minor injuries. President Corazon Aquino convened a special body chaired by former Supreme Court Justice Vicente Abad Santos, the Citizens’ Mendiola Commission, to investigate the incident. The body recommended the prosecution of all commissioned officers of the Western Police District and the Integrated National Police Field Force who were armed at that time.

In protest over the massacre, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Human Rights, Jose Diokno and J.B.L. Reyes, resigned from the government.[8]

In 1988, the Manila Regional Trial Court issued a decision to dismiss a P6.5-million class suit filed by relatives of the victims.[9] This decision was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1993.[3]

In 2007, members of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas installed a granite marker at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the incident.[1]

The government disallowed the conduct of demonstrations at Mendiola.[10] However, in January 2008, Mayor Alfredo Lim, allowed rallies at the landmark, as long as they were held on weekends and holidays.[11]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Espina, Nonoy (2007-01-21). "Farmers remember 'Mendiola Massacre'". Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  2. ^ a b "Mendiola Massacre". 2008-01-22. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  3. ^ a b Fajardo, Rorie (2007-01-22). "The Mendiola massacre: Old causes, new paths". Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  4. ^ a b "The Mendiola Massacre:What happened according to jurisprudence". Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  5. ^ Dychiu, Stephanie (2010) Hacienda Luisita's past haunts Noynoy's future, (Mendiola - a portent of the Luisita massacre Special). Article / GMA News Network
  6. ^ Putzel, J. (1992) A Captive Land: The Politics of Agrarian Reform in the Philippines. Ateneo de Manila : University Press
  7. ^ Lopez, Allison (2008-01-21). "Lim clarifies role in Mendiola Massacre". Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  8. ^ * Filipinos in History Vol. IV. Manila, Philippines: National Historical Institute. 1994. p. 272. 
  9. ^ Corpuz, Gerry Albert. "Compensation Bill for Mendiola Massacre Victims Sought". Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  10. ^ "No rally policy on Mendiola designed to avoid repeat of 1987 bloody incident". Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  11. ^ "Mendiola now open to rallyists on weekends, holidays - Lim". 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 

Coordinates: 14°36′00″N 120°59′29″E / 14.60012°N 120.99132°E / 14.60012; 120.99132