Satan’s Work: The Maguindanao Massacre of 2009 Claims 64 Lives
Where is Datu Andal Ampatuan, Jr., scion of the warlord clan of Maguindanao, now being fingered as one of the authors of this most horrible carnage in that province where command votes for past, an future elections in Muslim Mindanao are determined?
Make no bones about it, the Ampatauans, politically-aligned in the Arroyo administration during this past decade of its controversial incumbency, are the area’s feared ”sovereigns’ for all intents and purposes, and any who dare challenge their stranglehold on power risk life and limb.
Here are ABS-CBN’s reports:
So it is that this was manifested in so grissly a manner when, according to the Mangudadatu family, a delegation of theirs intending to file the gubernatorial candidacy of elder kin Ismael was waylaid with the entire group of more than 40 (including journalists covering their trip) being slaughtered.
This must surely be the most heinous ever incident of its kind in Philippine history.
I still cannot fully comprehend what God-less urges drove the killers, as I realize that no matter what we will be told about government resolve to give justice to the victims, the town of Ampatuan, Maguindanao now stands as this generation’s blood-drenched Killing Field.
So we ask, yet again, where is Datu Andal Ampatuan, Jr.?
The Arroyo administration, buffeted by cries for justice from journalist organizations and the public,scurried Tuesday to prevent the Maguindanao crisis from spinning out of control by dispatching top aides to Maguindanao.
Malacanang took pains to clarify that even the victimized Mangudadatu clan was also politically close to Pres. Gloria Arroyo like the accused side of the Ampatuads.
What has shocked everyone is how the murders were down in wholesale fashion with even a government-owned construction back hoe used to push and bury the dead into a crudely-du roadside mass grave – a killing field that just today yielded two dozen more dead, raising the the death toll to nearly 50.
Arroyo even invoked the Philippine Constitution’s ‘commander-in-chief-provision’ allowing her to place a limited part of the Philippines, in this case the Maguindanao-Sultaan Kudarat provinces under emergency rule, carrying with it it the power “to call out troops to quell lawless violence and suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
Malacanang says it will definitely have suspects in hand 48 hours, acutely aware that Maguindanao could descend into tit-for-tat reprisal killings if public disquiet is not calmed.
The Inquirer is now reporting this Saturday, Nov. 28:
The grassy hill of Barangay Salman in nearby Ampatuan town continued to give up corpses.
A total of 64 cadavers have been retrieved since Monday’s mass murder, which was allegedly carried out by a group headed by Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., a ranking police officer said yesterday.
Chief Insp. Roger Zagales, of the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Central Mindanao, who was helping in the gathering of evidence, did not say when the additional bodies were dug up.
Additional reports are saying that apart from atu Unsay town mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr, 8 other members of his politically-powerful clan are being put on a hold departure as affidavits from nearly 20 witnesses have also linked them to tht gruesome Nov. 23 massacre.
The earlier reported 7 murder charder beng considered against Ampatuan may reportedly not be filed until Tuesday, December 2, when state prosecutors are expected to complete their legal paperwork and bring thecases before the local court i Cotabato City.
Andal Ampatuan Jr. continues to insist on his innocence while the justice department says several ‘eyewitnesses’ accounts have placed him at the scene of the crime.