Farmers mark Mendiola massacre day with protest
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - January 23, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – A farmers’ group based in Negros Occidental yesterday held a protest rally in Bacolod City to mark the 30th anniversary celebration of the Mendiola massacre.

The Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) condemned the killing of Alexander Ceballos, a local labor leader, and called on the Duterte administration to include the plight of the peasants in the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front (NDF).

UMA secretary general Danilo Ramos said the peace talks should include the murder of Ceballos and other recent atrocities committed against the farmers.

“The killing of Ceballos is a chilling reminder that the new counterinsurgency program of the Duterte administration called Oplan Kapayapaan is no different from those implimented under the previous regimes,” Ramos said.

He said there could be no peace until gangster groups like the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade are disarmed and disbanded.

“There can be no justice if the mercenary AFP and corrupt police force still exist to protect the interests of landlords and land-grabbers,” he added referring to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Ceballos was killed by an unidentified man in front of his wife and children in Murcia town on Friday.

He was regional council member of the National Federation of Sugar Workers.

The Mendiola massacre pertains to the killing of 13 farmers on Jan. 22, 1987 by state forces at the gates of Malacañang.

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