First Quarter Storm

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Mendiola Street:
An eye witness to
a series of protests

The Battle of Mendiola
(January 30, 1970)
Ninoy Aquino's Funeral
(August 31, 1983)
National Day of Sorrow
(September 21, 1983)
Peaceful Rally on
One-Half of the Bridge

(July 13, 1984)
Anniversary of Martial Law:
National Day of Sorrow

(September 21-22, 1984)
The Fall of Malacañan
(February 25, 1986)
Mendiola Massacre
(January 22, 1987)
People Power III
(May 1, 2001)

The First Quarter Storm was a period of civil unrest in the Philippines, composed of a series of heavy demonstrations, rallies, protests, and marches against the Philippine Government from January to March 1970, two years before the Philippines were placed under martial law. It is a series of rallies launched by radical and moderate student groups protesting against the inclusion of politicians in the forthcoming Constitutional Convention and the constitutional provision being considered that will allow President Ferdinand Marcos to run for a third term.

The movement was led by college students, echoing recent student demonstrations all around the world before 1970. Laborers also took part, who protested against graft and corruption in government, and the decline in the economy caused by high oil prices. Some sources stated that the unrest is the plan to overthrow the government through communist as well as socialist support to the masses, as well as students and workers who facilitated the storm.

The Battle of Mendiola

On January 30, 1970, four days after being turned back by the Constabulary Officers and riot policemen in the grounds of Congress, the demonstrators -- militant students, farmers, and workers -- went to Malacañan Palace to demand the assurance of a non-partisan Constitutional Convention from President Marcos and that he should not run for a third term. After the talks, military troopers in riot gear attacked the students, who in turn responded with stones and Molotov bombs. The demonstrators even crashed a firetruck into Gate 4 of Malacañan Palace. The police and the military were able to disperse the crowd only after several students have been injured and arrested. This confrontation was later called "the Battle of Mendiola."


  • The Greatest Democracy Ever Told: People Power, An Eye Witness History. Manila, Philippines. James B. Reuter, S.J. Foundation. 1986



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