Page 1


violencE (noun.) the exercise or an instance of physical force, usually effecting or intended to effect injuries, destruction, etc.

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the course POLISCI A55 under Prof. Victor Andres Manhit.

CONTRIBUTORS Diandra Araja Chana Garcia Chesca Mauricio Regina Pendatun Rain Sager Katrina Ribaya

table of contents PAGE 1


















Many of our fellow Filipinos get killed for voicing out their opinions, for fighting for the rights of the rest of us, and for fighting for what they believe is right and just. Some of these Filipinos get killed for no reason, caught in between the merciless and abusive politicians. However, with an increasingly alarming rate of political killings in the Philippines every year, awareness about these killings still have not reached out to the rest of the people yet. Some are still ignorant and some remain hopeless for a better society and government; to wish for a peaceful society and just government is something that they would not want to do. But we, the youth, are still believed to be the catalysts of change. We are the ones believed to be the people who has more will to build a new society and to correct the wrongs of the government. We should once again embrace the freedom that the past Filipinos fought hardly for, and use it for good use, to increase awareness about the issues that really matter.



mendiola massacre


On January 22, 1987, the Mendiola Massacre, or Black Thursday as it is sometimes called, was a dark day for farmers and laborers. Both had congregated at Mendiola street in Metro Manila as the former rallied for free proper land distribution, while the latter for acceptable working conditions and reasonable salaries. While proclaiming their need for land reforms, government forces opened fire against them, and as they were unarmed, the farmers and laborers were forced to retreat. Thirteen farmers were killed, and hundreds injured.


With this, it is evident that political violence does not solve anything. We see how their spirit to push for what is right and just remains unbroken after having to suffer the kind of abuse bestowed upon them by the government that they should be able to trust in giving them what they deserve. Why it that some believe that brute force is the answer to everything? Violence only stopped the rally for a short while, and now it is seen that the marchers from back in 1987 are still the marchers today. Likewise, the violence inflicted by the government forces was an infraction of the people’s right to assembly, which is stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which also overrules the policy of “no permit, no rally”.

Dolly Tambongon, now 47, recalled how he was uninjured during the open fire but was detained by the soldiers and brought to Camp Crame, and was released the same night. Every year, a memorial march is held to fight for the same cause, yet their pleas fall unto deaf The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program was put into action by former president Coraears. zon Aquino, who was in office at the time of



the massacre. 27 years later, her son is in her place. Has anything changed? Farmers may have been given certified true copies of the land that they till, but why is it necessary for the government to request them to pay for their original deeds, where the amortization for their land stretched through 30 years? How do they expect the farmers to do so when their income is based on the whims of the earth and the weather? How will they fare in times of drought or calamity? Tambongon says that hope for land reforms in the near future seem to be only a dream, given that three decades have gone by and not a change has been seen. “Hindi kami aalis sa aming tinitirikan hangga’t kami’y hindi nila tinutugon,” he said, as he and his fellow marchers continue to rally for the land reforms and labor rights that they deserve. VIOLENCIA.





On the night of August 21, 1971, as the Liberal party members and candidates held hands, and as thousands of supporters clapped and cheered for them, two bombs simultaneously exploded immediately killing 9 people and leaving 98 more injured. A lot of civilians, political and media personalities were injured. A five - year old child and Manila times photographer were amongst those who were killed. Senator Jovito Salonga, and Liberal party president Gerardo Roxas were amongst those who were injured. The bombing that happened chose no one; rich or poor, famous or not. This event in Philippine history is then known as the Plaza Miranda bombing, the event that supposedly led to the declaration of Martial Law. During the Marcos reign, there were only two parties fighting for position. There was the Liberal party, the party Ninoy Aquino belonged to. Opposite to them is the Nacionalista party, the party of the then President Ferdinand Marcos. After the bombing; there were allegations that the mastermind behind the bombing was President Marcos himself. But after further investigations, the Marcos government has pointed the blame on Jose Ma. Sison; Leader of the communist party of the Philippines. Marcos himself blamed the communists saying that this was an act to weaken the government. The Plaza Miranda was then a symbol for “Democratic Dialog”. A place wherein those who wish to make this country a better place could speak to the citizens and ask them for their support.

For it to be attacked that way for whether political or anti – political reasons, shows us how those people behind the attack undermine democracy, politics, and justice here in the Philippines. They undermine democracy by imposing fear on people, and they use this fear to control people’s actions and thoughts. They undermine politics by intimidating those candidates who wish to go against the current administration and they imply that those candidates need to back down because they are more powerful and they can easily throw them out. Lastly, they undermine justice by thinking that they can go above the law; that they are more powerful than the law and they can do whatever they want. The Plaza Miranda bombing may have happened decades ago but political violence is still rampant nowadays. You will see reports about journalists getting killed, political candidates ambushed by their opposing candidates and many more. As long as people are afraid to stand up against people who do this, we can never put a stop to it. Let the Plaza Miranda bombing be a reminder to every citizen how important it is to fight for our freedom. We shouldn’t close our eyes to the violence that is happening around us just because we are scared. It is a reminder for us Filipinos to be “politically vigilant” – let ourselves be involved in matters of the government because through cooperation and involvement can we only attain a just and free society. VIOLENCIA.





pre-election killings Barangays in the Philippines are considered as the smallest and simplest government unit of the country, encompassing people of about a hundred to several thousands. In assuring peace and order, and providing the needs of every citizen in every barangay in the Philippines, barangay officials are elected by its citizens through what most Filipinos call the Barangay Elections. Filipino citizens are left with the freedom to vote whomever they want or desire since they are considered a democratic country. Barangay Officials are composed of one (1) Punong Barangay or Barangay Chairman/Captain and seven (7) Sanggunian Barangay members or Kagawads, which are all expected to be in service for three (3) terms. Even though national elections in the Philippines are given more importance and encompasses more individuals compared to the barangay elections, consequently, when it comes to political violence, barangay elections are not left behind. In the year 2013, a total of 177 incidents were reported from the start of the year up to September 22 of the

from the start of the year up to September 22 of the same year. In the nine (9) months leading to barangay elections, ninety-six barangay officials were reported to have been killed wherein forty-seven (47) of those were barangay captains, while forty-nine were council members. According to data recorded since the start of election period, an estimate of about sixty-four (64) incidents of violence were recorded having twenty-two (22) individuals killed, thirty-four (34) to thirty-seven (37) individuals wounded and eight (8) individuals nabbed, while atleast five (5) were killed on the day of elections. Therefore, political violence is evident even within the smallest unit of the government sector in the country.; whether you are in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, violence in prevalent.

In Luzon, an administrator of Barangay Sto. Domingo in Quezon City was shot to death by a riding in tandem. The fatality was identified as Edgardo Garcia, aged 62. According to police reports, as Mr. Garcia was cleaning his car in front of the barangay hall in Quezon City



on a Saturday afternoon when two men on a motorcycle advances towards him. One of the men got off the vehicle and shot the victim using a Caliber .45 revolver. Mr. Garcia was hit in the back of his head and in his right cheek, which instantly killed him. After the shot, both of the men immediately sped away from the crime scene, leaving Mr. Garcia body laying on the streets. Reports say that the motive for Mr. Garcia’s killing is still unknown and is yet to be established but Chief Inspector Benjamin Elenzano, head of the homicide investigation of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) claims that the case was certainly related to his work as a barangay official. In the Visayas region, a barangay councilor of Tagbayaon, a town in Samar, Leyte, was shot dead at about 6:20p.m. while waiting in front of a commercial establishment where his wife worked as a cashier. The incumbent barangay councilor was identified as Narciso Lagbo, aged 47 while his wife was identified as Daisy. Reports narrate that Mr. Lagbo was visiting Daisy in her work and as he was about to ride on his motorcycle, two men suddenly approached him and shot him, hitting him in the nape and hip. Mr. Lagbo died on the spot, police say. Investigators later found four empty shells of 9-mm pistol, which was believed to be used as a crime instrument for the killing. According to Inspector Nacar, Police Regional Office in Eastern-Visayas spokesperson, the motive of the killing is still unidentified but they are considering the angle regarding politics.

In Mindanao, which was identified as of having the most number of election “hot spots” by GMA news, a barangay captain of Barangay Lacson and a former broadcast journalist was shot dead in Davao City. Reports say that Aljun Layao was ambushed by gunmen riding a motorcycle while he was on his way home from attending a town fiesta in Purok 4, Calinan. According to reports, at about 9:30p.m., while Mr. Layao was on his car, the two men riding a vehicle shot directly him three times. He suffered two gunshots wounds on the neck. Mr. Layao was rushed to the hospital but was eventually declared dead by the doctors. Mr. Layao’s family believe that the killing was politically-motivated. Politics is everywhere and will always be here, as some would say. And with politics comes the idea of being unsafe and in danger, most especially to those who seek power and are in position. It drives people to certain extents in exchange of getting what they want. It is sad to know that even within the smallest and simplest sector of our government, the barangays, are still affected by what most people call, political violence. Also, it is quite ironic to think that as barangay officials should assure safety and order among the citizens and community, violence and danger are what comes with it. Political violence is widespread in the Philippines, as what I have mentioned earlier. In Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, such violence is being practiced by some individuals or group of individuals. VIOLENCIA.





It was a period marked with a series of demonstrations against the government held mostly by student leaders from January to March 1970, or the first quarter of that

In September 1972 Marcos declared martial law, claiming that it was the last defense against the rising disorder caused by increasingly violent student demonstrations, the alleged threats of communist insurgency by the CPP AND MNLF.





The Plaza Miranda bombing occurred during a political campaign rally of the Liberal Party at Plaza Miranda in the district of Quiapo, Manila in the Philippines on Au-

IN August 21, 1983, Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. was fatally shot to the ground as he exited the plane. 16 MILITARY MEN WERE SENTENCED RECLUSION PERPETUA ON SEPTEMBER 28,







IN january 22 1987, 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


IN NOVEMBER 3 2009, 58 victims were on their way to file a certificate of candidacy for Esmael Mangudadatu. The people killed included Mangudadatu’s wife, his two sisters, journalists, lawyers, aides, and motorists who were witnesses or were mistakenly identified as part of the convoy.

2004 IN NOVEMBER 16 2004, The combined security forces comprised of Hacienda guards, the police and the military trained water cannons and lobbed canisters of teargas at the main body of strikers which numbered 13,000 to 15,000. 7 WERE KILLED.



2010 IN AUGUST 23 2010, THE QUIRINO GRANDSTAND HOSTAGE TAKING occurred when a disgruntled former Philippine National Police officer named Rolando Mendoza hijacked a tourist bus.






a look on the compelling thriller movie by Erik Matti review by CHANA GARCIA

The film opens with the disclaimer saying, “inspired by true events�, adding the film with more intensity and sense of reality. The first scenes show Daniel (Gerald Anderson) and Tatang (Joel Torre) roaming around a festival in a barangay, but walking in a pace as if they are on a mission. After a few minutes or so, a woman gave a signal and the target was spotted. Tatang walked slowly to the target and drew a gun from the inside of his jacket and shot the target. Daniel, whose job was to distract the crowd by pointing out the dead person, lost himself in the crowd and successfully fled out of the crime scene along with Tatang. With two different narratives, On The Job shows the reality of politics in the Philippines and how far these high-ranking officials can go just to eliminate a person who goes on their way. The film does not only show how rotten the system of government is, but it also shows the kind of poverty that people have to live with. Corruption, political violence, poverty, and inside jobs are only of the few elements of Philippine society presented in the film.


The two main characters of the film shows the contrasting personalities of people, with Francis (Piolo Pascual) and Daniel fighting against each other while doing their jobs. Francis, who is caught in the middle of things, tries to solve the crime that he was assigned to and encounters multiple struggles in the process. Francis realizes how dysfunctional the government system is and tries to fix it by talking to his father-in-law, who is also part of the high-ranking officials who hire inmates to assassinate people for them. On The Job reflects the demeaning truth behind the Philippine society and government, which most Filipinos refuse to acknowledge and accept. More so, the film shows how politicians abuse their power to the extent of having people killed just so that no one can stop them from doing the things that will solely benefit them. The film offers many aspects of reality that we all encounter everyday through the smallest things. VIOLENCIA.







When former President Ferdinand Marcos declared Proclamation No. 1081, the Martial Law, democracy died in the Philippines. Marcos was a dictator – the highest of the highest; the only power to decide, to appoint, and to change anything going on in the nation. He was the law, and nothing else mattered. The whole Philippines was under military rule. He also described this government to “save the republic and reform the society.” Unjustified fees, abuse of military power, and human rights violations surfaced in this era. He also closed the Congress, removed warlord armies and removed the corporations of his political enemies. His orders consisted of media censorship, the banning of overseas travelling, public meetings, private meetings, and torturing or murdering political prisoners, as well as his opponents and protesters (Zaide, 2011). All acts of protest and rebellion led to killings and warring between the people of the nation, led by the abuse of military power ruled by Marcos himself. Rebel groups rose at this time such as the New People’s Army, and the Moro National Liberation Front. Acts of violence were inspired by these communists, which involved many street fights, rallies, and the like. Human rights violations were much abused that it caused trauma in the nation, up until today. Moreover, the Marcos regime has a total of 3,257 extrajudicial killings, 35, 000 tortures, and 70,000 incarceration. Statistics have shown that 77% of the Filipino people were salvaged from torture, mutilation, and roadside dumping for public display. All these events were ways of telling people to be fearful of this tyrannous ruler in more ways of intimidation and public display of torture (McCoy, 1999). Political violence was extremely high during the time of Marcos. The people were deprived of acting without the overlooking authority of their ruler. The citizens of this nation cannot be against the government’s will or else the worst would happen – punishment. There was no impunity here; except for the policemen and military officers Marcos had appointed as long they adhered to his laws. This phase has transpired; the phase wherein Filipinos killed each other for power without even considering the concept of justice. VIOLENCIA.


f o n o i t a n i s s a s s a e th



What was supposed to be an event of jubilation had become the most questioned and tragic event in our nation’s history. On the 21st of august 1983 the only person that could stand up to Marcos was assassinated at the Manila International Airport. Aquino’s death may be just one of the examples of the heinous acts Marcos ordered to maintain his power over our nation. But this enacts one of the factors that political scientists think contribute to political violence’s long existence in our nation. This was driven by individual’s personal motives. This means that the Aquino assassination, though it may not be as gruesome as the other crimes committed by the Marcos government, still manifests the idea of political violence. Political violence, according to Patrick O’Neil, is “violence outside of state control that is politically motivated.” As I said before, the assassination of Ninoy Aquino clearly embodies what political violence is. The sheer reason why Aquino was killed was because of a particular person’s political advantage. Some people say that Ferdinand Marcos ordered the assassination mainly because he wanted to maintain his political stature. People speculated that if it was Marcos who ordered Aquino’s death, it was because he wanted the person that would be succeeding his reign to be a person he chooses and a person he trusts; someone that will still push for what he wants. He thought that Aquino’s return would prevent that from happening, and that is why he ordered Aquino’s death. This shows that the choice of making this decision was influenced by a person’s motive (individual), which is one of the factors of political violence. He thought that in order for him to maintain power, even though he was not in the seat of power, he should surround himself with his cronies and appoint these loyalists into high positions, thus eliminating the only wrinkle in his plans. Although this event is not as violent as the Plaza Miranda bombing or the Mendiola Massacre, it still shows us what political violence is and it shows what drives people into committing these violent acts. VIOLENCIA.











A magazine about the political violence in the Philippines. Final project for the course POLISCI under Mr. Manhit.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you