An eye witness to
a series of protests
The Battle of Mendiola
Mendiola Street, co-named Chino Roces Avenue, is a historical thoroughfare in the district of San Miguel in Manila. Passing by Gate 4 of the Malacañang Palace -- the official residence of the President of the Philippines -- the street has become a popular destination for protest actions against the government.
About a kilometer long, Mendiola Street extends from the bridge intersecting Legarda and Claro M. Recto up to Jose Laurel Street. It is flanked by some of the oldest and established educational institutions in Manila such as San Beda College, Centro Escolar University, and the College of the Holy Spirit.
Being near to the Malacañang Palace, security around the area is tight. Half of the Mendiola Street starting from the sentinel gate in front of the College of the Holy Spirit and La Consolacion College is close, protecting the palace from security loopholes. Vehicles are diverted to Concepcion Aguila Street, a narrow side street that passes through residential areas of San Miguel.
Mendiola Street has been a witness to violent confrontations between protesters and government troops. During the administration of Ferdinand Marcos, Mendiola Street was the site of the Battle of Malacañang or The Battle of Mendiola on January 30, 1970 which resulted to four student demonstrators dead on the spot.
On January 22, 1987, crowd control troops open fired on a protest rally of about 10,000 peasant farmers demanding genuine land reform from then President Corazon Aquino. Thirteen of the protestors were killed and hundreds more were injured in that incident which is now called the Mendiola Massacre.
On May 1, 2001, supporters of former President Joseph Estrada marched to Mendiola Street after staging demonstrations outside the EDSA Shrine demanding the release of former president Joseph Estrada who was arrested after the impeachment trial. A violent confrontation ensued between Estrada supporters and members of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, who were then tasked by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to secure Malacañang Palace and the areas surrounding it, occurred in Mendiola Street and the vicinity around Malacañang Palace after the protesters tried to storm the Palace. Casualties were high on both the Estrada supporters and government troops. Damage to property along Mendiola Street and areas within the vicinity of Malacañang Palace cost millions of pesos as a result of looting of stores and shops and burning of several government and private vehicles by the protesters. Then later, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared a State of National Emergency but lifted it after two days.