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    Farmers Protest for Land Rights in the Philippines

    NTDTelevision

    by NTDTelevision

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    In the Philippines, thousands of farmers held a protest in Manila to demand land reform, as they paid tribute to farmers who were killed in a massacre 23 years ago over land disputes.

    On Friday, around 5,000 farmers and activists protested in Manila to demand justice for farmers and to commemorate the victims of the Mendiola Massacre in 1987. 13 farmers lost their lives when they demanded the right to own land.

    [Satur Ocampo, Congressman]: (Male, Filipino)
    "There is no justice for the 13 victims of the massacre here in Mendiola 23 years ago, or for the massacre victims in a plantation in 2004."

    Twenty-three years after the massacre, activists say the lack of justice and the pattern of bloodshed prevail. Farmers still do not own the farmlands they plough. One political group says more than 500 farmers have been victimized since 2001 by extra-judicial killings.

    The protesters also appealed to the candidates in May's elections to create concrete programs for the distribution of huge plantations owned by a few wealthy families.

    The Philippines enacted a land reform law in 1988 which aimed at distributing land to poor farmers. But most of the lawmakers belonged to the land owning class, and this prevented a fair distribution of land.