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Maguindanao Massacre: A Handiwork of Pure Evil

November 26, 2009

A despot who won’t hesitate to claim the lives of over 60 people won’t also waver to destroy a whole nation…

Only a monster can do such an evil thing...

They were warned. There were threats to their lives and security before that bloody carnage ended their existence. They thought a convoy composed of mostly women and journalists was strong enough to dissuade an evil clan determined to keep a political stronghold. They were wrong, as the Devil, which they sought to challenge, had already sealed their fate.

The wife of a municipal vice-mayor, along with some relatives and a phalanx of media men, refused to heed the warnings of a former political ally. They asked for police security, but their final request, which could have saved their lives, fell on deaf ears. In a province strongly controlled by a power lust, to challenge the status quo is considered a deadly offense.

Jenalyn Mangundadatu, the wife of Buluan vice-mayor Ismael “Toto” Mangundadatu, and some relatives and a number of media men, were on their way to file a certificate of candidacy on behalf of Ismael when a group of about 100-armed men abducted them. Mangundadatu is running for governor in the province of Maguindanao.

Prior to the bloody slaughter, the Mangundadatus claimed they received warnings from the Ampatuans, a powerful political clan in the province. They thought that by sending female relatives accompanied by some media men would deter the criminals from harming them. Their attempt to appeal to the Devil’s conscience was totally unheeded.

The worst political carnage in Philippine history claimed the lives of 64 people. Even those who were not part of the convoy had to be killed for the sake of a clan’s attempt to monopolize political power. Their remains were collectively buried in an unlikely gravesite.

Considering the total number of the victims and the manner by which they were brutally executed and buried, someone has to answer for this mass slaughter. A few days after the incident that occurred on the morning of November 23, a witnessed has surfaced and claimed hat he was merely “following orders” and identified Andal Ampatuan Jr. as an alleged mastermind. Ampatuan Jr., the mayor of Datu Unsay municipality, is the son of Maguindanao Governor Andal Sr. The Ampatuan family, which seeks to maintain a political strong hold in the province, is a close allay of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The mastermind...

The witness, who identified himself as “Boy,” told the press that the order was to kill anyone in the convoy. “Anyone from the Mangudadatu clan – women or children – should be killed… We don’t ask why, we just followed orders.”

Boy also made statements that could implicate some members of the military in the incident. “We didn’t get to finish, which is why the excavator was left there,” he said. “Someone called and said soldiers were on their way. I feel they have connections among the soldiers.” Boy, however, denied killing anyone, saying he just stood while the massacre was being carried out. He was now in hiding for fear of his life.

Amid mounting pressure on the Arroyo government to crack down on lawlessness and warlords in Maguindanao, Ampatuan Jr. turned himself on November 26 to police authorities. He was charged with multiple murders before the Department of Justice for allegedly masterminding the killing of 67 people.

Meanwhile, Ampatuan denied the allegation, saying there was no evidence to link him to the crime. “Napakadali para magbintang. Dapat may ebidensya. Wala akong kasalanan. Ang may kasalanan ay MILF Umbra Kato (It’s so easy to accuse someone. There should be evidence. I’m innocent. The culprits are with MILF’s Umbra Kato),” he told a group of newsmen inside the NBI detention facility. Instead he blamed the MILF for the massacre.
“Mga terorista ang mga iyon e (They are terrorists),” he added.

However, the MILF in a media interview denied Ampatuan’s accusation. Eid Kabalu, MILF spokesman, said that the massacre was politically motivated. “Ever since the MILF was never involved in politics. So we’re offhand when it comes it things like this,” he said.

This politically motivated mass carnage is just a prelude to an even worse political violence that might take place before, during and after the 2010 elections. The province of Maguindanao is considered one of the election hot spots in the country. In terms of politics, Maguindanao and most parts of Muslim Mindanao are controlled by warring warlords that compete for political power. Apart from kidnapping, beheading and threats posed by the Abu Sayaff group and the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front, these warlords are the main cause of slow economic development in the province.

This unspeakable evil is one of the reasons why Muslim Mindanao should not be allowed to secede. A province cannot claim secession on the ground of religion or ethnic or cultural differences. The only justifiable reason for a province to claim independence must be based on the concept individual rights. An independent Muslim Mindanao means a chaotic territory ruled by competing warlords who have no regard for individual rights. In fact, they don’t even know that such inalienable rights exist.

Evil political clans in the province continue to maintain their political stranglehold simply because of the results of their own acts and injustice. A territory ruled by a group of power lust can never achieve peace and economic progress. The best allies of political gangs to maintain their power are poverty, ignorance, social chaos, and corruption. Observe that most people blame a number ‘outside factors’ for the poverty, injustice, terrorism, armed conflict and social disorder in Mindanao.

Instead of blaming outside entities like the United States and capitalism, why not blame themselves and the warlords, which they have sanctioned to rule their lives? These evil warlords would not be able to maintain their political monopoly in Muslim Mindanao without the consent of the people. A lot of Muslims have migrated to Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon to escape the ongoing political and military conflict in that warlords-infested territory.

Absolute power kills absolutely...

Now a number of people claimed that high-ranking police personnel refused to give protection to the victims who perished in the hands of the private army of the Ampatuans. This fact alone shows that absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Ampatuans have not only corrupted the political system in the province, but also the police service and the military.

Since the Ampatuans are close political allies of the President, they could easily mobilize all government resources, particularly the police service and the military, to their own advantage. A political leader who cannot discipline his/her own people is, without a doubt, an ineffective leader and has no right to govern a whole country.

Mrs. Arroyo is indirectly responsible for this unspeakable crime for issuing Executive Order 546, which allowed local officials to form the civilian volunteer organizations (CVO). As a result, political clans in Mindanao like the Ampatuans were sanctioned by an executive order to build their own private armies, allowing local officials and the PNP to deputize barangay tanods as “force multipliers” or additional reinforcement in the fight against insurgents.In essence, the executive order allows local executives to convert their private armies into legal entities called the CVO. The intent of the EO is good, which is to eradicate insurgents in the country, but to empower local officials or to indirectly give them the right to establish private armies, even if this is not mentioned explicitly in the law, is against the Constitution.

A despot who won’t hesitate to sacrifice the lives of 57 innocent people for the sake of self-preservation won’t also waver to claim the lives of one million people. It is clear that the Maguindanao Massacre is Mrs. Arroyo’s fault. A government that disregards the rule of law should be held responsible for violations of individual rights. The Ampatuans perpetrated the massacre because they thought they enjoy presidential protection. They took advantage of the country’s weak and irresponsible governance. The goons of the Ampatuans also carried out the order because they thought the evil clan was untouchable. There’s a chain of evil that throttles this country and its people…

A bitter, tragic lesson for a whole nation…

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. November 26, 2009 3:38

    Hunt down these brutes. Bring them to justice.

  2. November 27, 2009 3:38

    I am deeply horrified. I wept for all the victims. Rest in Peace. I know they were crying for justice.

  3. Rosario permalink
    December 4, 2009 3:38

    We the people are responsible for this evil monsters , we the people who elected this officials are responsible for all the actions this offical have concocted to twist the faith of our own kind. We as Pilipinos, Muslims or Christians are held responsible for this massacre, we the people are the one who can correct this evil doing by austing this corrupt officials and government.We the people will never learn from history until human rights will be corrected and the constitution well be followed.I dont have no more tears to cry, we as people must do something to bring this people to justice.We the people must create a movement to protect human lives.We the people must do something….ignorance is lame for excuse. It is a humanity questions? We are not robots to follow an order to destroy lives, it is us , as a person,we must question our own selves , our conscience if what we are doing is right or wrong.And we the people must face that consequences. We as people are all held responsible.

  4. egoy permalink
    December 5, 2009 3:38

    ..where is true democracy? I doubt our country is a democratic one, id rather believe that it is a breeding ground for wicked souls who only thinks about power. Im sad that it took three days before our government finally got hold of the courage in arresting the perpetrators for this holocaust. which only makes it obvious that our government fears these soulless political warlords.

    I pray that the victims will not die in vain.

  5. 'Liam' permalink
    December 6, 2009 3:38

    I have a personal theory that I want to share:

    Gloria is the mastermind of this massacre, also the Glorietta bombing to cover her Z.T.E broadband deal. The idea is, she wanted to put martial law on Maguindanao and then she would do something different here in Manila to put it in martial law and be president..again…..Sorry for my grammar and also my english. I’m just a twelve year old Filipino boy. Just wanted to share my idea.

    • Jei-el permalink
      December 6, 2009 3:38

      At the expense of her Ampatuan allies?

  6. December 14, 2010 3:38

    death penalty will be the last resort….

Trackbacks

  1. Human Rights Watch: Armed Ampatuans “Owned the People” « THE VINCENTON POST
  2. RP’s Guns and Crimes: A Reality Check « THE VINCENTON POST

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