Still, the peasants are coming with pitchforks
"What was scary was when we shouted 'we need land reforms.' They took out their 30-calibre guns. They shot at our lines. Immediately, many were hit. Our leader said, 'Pull back, we can't beat guns.'"
These are the words Dolly Tambongon stated as he recalled the tragic events during the January 22 1987 incident, that made everyone who had rejoiced 11 months after the "revolution" ridiculed the administration whom had promised to carry on the aspirations people had wanted to realise.
But with that said incident, known by the media as "Black Friday" and "Mendiola massacre", 13 farmers were killed, while others wounded fighting for genuine agrarian reforms and social justice in the still-Semifeudal Philippines. Constabulary men had fired live bullets at the protesters, at the same time firing tear gas, water from the fire trucks, followed by a series of beatings and hence calling it imposition order by the "democratic and republican state."
Quite hypocritical for the state to speak about freedom, democracy, and reforms while at the same time beating the masses with swagger sticks if not forcibly abducted and disappeared. On their side, pretty obvious that they easily describe them as rebels, subversives for insisting radical reforms particularly regarding land and labor issues. Like Tambongon, there are others who felt getting hatred against the state like the farmers who had enjoyed having the fruits of their labor in their vegetable patches at Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, especially those of the families of whose members killed in the sugar central itself, killed by the hired thugs of state during the Arroyo administration;
But landlords, such as the Cojuangcos, supported by the police had expelled them from their communities, even bulldozed houses and their crops last December 2013 under the present Aquino regime; those communities and crops destroyed were hard-earned labor people who had worked for years within the Hacienda, trying to make their lives productive and least sane in a farmland depressed by the landlord's conditions like 9.50 peso wage.
Some of them were imprisoned for resisting the explulsion order given by the Cojuangco's Tarlac Development Corporation (TADECO); while the once farmworkers, also stockholders and tenants of the Hacienda who had end expelled had filed complaints soon after, as according to Jobert Pahilga, counsel for the the peasant union AMBALA and executive director of Sentro para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (Sentro) in an interview with Bulatlat:
“For destroying crops, bulldozing and fencing off farmlands and driving the farmers away, we are filing charges of malicious mischief, grave coercion and physical injury against Tadeco’s board of directors and their security guards,"
Or in its simple and direct term: brutality of the system, of the state against its subjects, especially under the orders of the corporation's interest. The massacres at Mendiola, Hacienda Luisita, and other agrarian issues involving the dispossession of the right to till, and circumventing laws had aggravated a problem that was centuries-old. Also to think that the system had forgot that they were talking too much about social justice the way they tackle about democracy and love as according to the constitution.
And with the peasants and workers, dispossessed sectors had marched from the provinces, others stopping near the Agrarian Reform office at Quezon City, and the rest consistently marching towards Manila still venting the same old rage against the landlords and corrupt bureaucrats bleeding everyone dry their hardships. Or in case of Hacienda Lusita, is it just because Sugarcane, unlike rice and corn, is a cash crop should be excempted from agrarian reform? What a mockery!
So is the law, whom they called harsh, being distorted by making their thugs' extrajudicial cruelties also an application of the law!
Perhaps, the system had intentionally aloof to heed the people despite promising reforms and stuff. Agrarian reform is one of the keys for self-sufficiency in agriculture and food security, and since the state had afford to say its subjects that change starts from the so-called self, then how come landlord-owned land haven't been distributed directly to the tiller as promised? Quezon's social justice program, Macapagal's Agrarian reform code, Marcos's PD 27, Cory Aquino's CARP and its revised, extended version had been treated by the same order who had acknowledged as mere pieces of paper, a piecemeal reform enacted trying to lessen the mood of the people, particulary those who had wanted to till their own lands for their communities and themselves.
And regardless of all the pseudo-facts and figures presented by the system telling about the Philippines becoming prosperous as it awashed with cash, of skyscrapers soaring over the urbanized Metro Manila with promises of foreign investments, still, the peasant issue, low wages, countnuous hikes of prices, low intensity repression, had make the country economically dead and trying to revive by a machine consists of illusions this writer had stated. After all, is 300 or 500 peso enough for a week in a country where hikes been justified much by the rotten order? Nope.
Right was the statement given by an underground group, as everyone bore wittness to the brutalities of those parroting development, that obviously does not cater to the laborers regardless of the propaganda being presented. Like Marx, the programs tackling about land, bread, justice, and freedom is all but a holy water that consecrates the hands of a hypocrite.
"The Filipino people awoke to the truth and bore witness to the brutal display of state fascism; it became clear that the fulfillment of genuine land reform was impossible under Cory’s haciendera hands. Corazon Aquino, being an heiress of one of the biggest and most vicious landlord families in the country, was unmasked unequivocally, despite her much-vaunted CARP, as anti-peasant."
And as everyone had awoke, it is possible that the ones who are dispossessed having the will to get even, of going beyond the parameters of so-called order knowing that they had called for reforms yet the system had given them bullets; they're all willing to march towards the bulwark of their enemies, like those from the antiquated pasts, carrying their bolos, pitchforks, anything to justify that their battle for land is also a reason why the Filipino had still fighting for its independence.