MANILA, Philippines – Jaime “Jimmy” Tadeo, peasant leader and one of the framers of the 1987 Constitutional Commission, died, Tadeo’s daughter confirmed to Rappler on Sunday afternoon, March 26. He was 84.
Cath dela Cruz, Tadeo’s daughter, told Rappler her father died on Sunday morning due to complications from diabetes.
During the 1980s, Tadeo formed the farmers group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), along with other militant peasant leaders. According to KMP, Tadeo was part of their organization from its founding in 1985 until 1992. Tadeo was also one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, representing the peasant sector.
In 2018, Tadeo also supported the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill filed by former Anakpawis lawmaker and agrarian chief Rafael Mariano, the KMP added.
A Bulacan native, Tadeo was born in Bocaue town on March 28, 1938. In an interview with Business Mirror, the late peasant leader said he was born even before the Green Revolution and before the International Rice Research Institute came to the Philippines.
He used to work as a government employee and helped farmers in Bulacan even before he became a prominent figure in agrarian reform movement. When he was 25 years old, Tadeo worked under the Bureau of Agricultural Extension of the Department of Agriculture.
Tadeo became active in helping farmers fight for their lands after former president Diosdado Macapagal introduced land reform in the country. He also worked under the National Irrigation Administration. The late peasant leader resigned in 1979 and became the manager of Central Bulacan Area Marketing Cooperative.
As one of KMP’s leaders, Tadeo led farmers in encamping in front of then-Ministry of Agrarian Reform on January 15, 1987 to raise their demands. On January 22 of that year, the farmers decided to march toward Mendiola – and violence erupted later that afternoon. Thirteen farmers were killed in that incident, also known as the Mendiola Massacre. (READ: 4 things to know about the Mendiola Massacre)
Under the administration of former president Corazon Aquino, Tadeo was detained for three years and three months over what he called trumped-up charges in connection to alleged swindling of P200,000 rice inventory shortfall in the cooperative he handled.
After his stint at KMP, Tadeo led Paragos-Pilipinas, a small group of farmers in his home province. He also served as chairman of the National Rice Farmers’ Council. – Rappler.com
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