Mendiola Bridge (renamed to Don Chino Roces Bridge) is a relatively plain or simple bridge but has gained historical significance as it has been a choice venue of left-leaning protest rallies and activists particularly during the Marcos regime.
The bridge is on Mendiola Street which starts from the intersection of Legarda and Claro M. Recto Avenues and ends outside the Malacañang Palace, the official residence of the Philippine president. Several colleges and universities are located near Mendiola and student protesters often choose the site to air their grievances against the government or the incumbent president.
The bridge was renamed after Don Chino Roces, one of most vocal political figures and writers who opposed Marcos and fiercely advocated free speech. Mendiola Bridge is an ideal rally site since it is within viewing distance of Gate 3 of the Malacañang Palace.
Mendiola Street and the bridge have been the site of violent confrontations between protesters and government troops such as the incident on January 30, 1970 dubbed “The Battle of Mendiola Bridge” which resulted in the deaths of four student demonstrators.
In January 22, 1987, a combined military and police troops opened fire on a protest rally of about 10,000 peasant farmers who were demanding genuine land reform from then President Corazon Aquino. Thirteen protesters were killed and hundreds injured in the infamous incident called the ‘Mendiola Massacre,’ which severely dented Aquino’s popularity and the credibility of her administration.
Mabuhay ang Mendiola Bridge!