Election Massacre in Maguindanao, Philippines
The death toll of the election related violence this past Monday has risen to 57. A group of journalists, lawyers, and family members of Esmael Mangudadatu were all a part of the death toll. The convoy was going to register Mangudadatu, vice mayor of Buluan, Maguindanao, Mindanao, Philippines, in the local elections to run against Andal Ampatuan Sr., the governor of Maguindanao. Andal is the head of the strong, and heavily armed (by the Philippine government) Ampatuan clan which are very close allies of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
While Arroyo has taken moves against the Ampatuan clan she has only done it “with kid gloves” Teodoro Casiño, a congressman for the Bayan Muna Partylist, told the New York Times. “Lesser mortals would have been arrested and disarmed by now.”
While the morally corrupt Arroyo has declared this a barbaric act and has called for a “day of morning” anyone familiar with Philippine politics can see right through her bold faced lies. The Ampatuan clan are very close to the Arroyo regime and have done their bidding since taking power in Maguindanao since earlier this decade. Not only that, while Arroyo seems to be shedding crocadile tears for the victims of one of her allied militias she has yet to take any action against the barbaric acts of violence against critics of her regime.
There are close to 2,000 people (mostly members of BAYAN and leftist critics of her regime) that have been killed by either Armed Forces of the Philippines personal or AFP armed militias. All of this on behalf of the Arroyo regime.
The Daily Inquirer (Philippines) reports:
Anyone from the Mangudadatu clan – women or children – should be killed… We don’t ask why, we just followed orders,” the witness who identified himself as “Boy” told Al-Jazeera correspondent Marga Ortigas in an interview posted on the network’s website Thursday.
“Boy” said that the orders came directly from Andal Ampatuan Jr., Datu Unsay mayor, and whose family was also an ally of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroy
“We didn’t get to finish, which is why the excavator [for the mass grave] was left there,” he said. “Someone called and said soldiers were on their way. I feel they have connections among the soldiers.”
Bayan Muna released a press statement stating:
Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo today strongly urged Malacanang to immediately recall Executive Order 546 issued by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in July 2006, and disband the civilian volunteer organizations (CVOs) and other legalized private armies in the wake of the Maguindanao massacre that reportedly involved such CVOs.
“This EO was the demented brainchild of Interior and DILG Secretary Ronaldo Puno. EO 546 made it legal for LGUs to mobilize, train and arm these so-called CVOs as local armed auxiliary units working under the supervision and command of the PNP to supposedly counter terrorist threats. Three years later, it’s proven that the CVOs are nothing but private armies who kill at the slightest whim and wish of their warlord bosses. The Maguindanao Massacre is the handiwork of one such private army,” Ocampo pointed out.
“We also hold the AFP and PNP accountable for the massacre. They were tasked to protect the civilians, secure the roads the convoy would take and ensure that no violence would take place. They failed miserably, and now 46 people are dead.”