57 and counting . .

30 11 2009

Liz Carey

The death toll rose to 57 and counting a week after the massacre in Mindanao last week. This is the worst politically motivated violence in the Philippine’s recent history. The killing involved 12 journalists who were found dead lying in a seperate area close to the political candidate’s family and others for the next gobiernal election. This makes last monday the deadliest day for journalists in general accross the entire world. There is no one to blame for the massacre on the record, but witnesses, local officials, and even analysts point their finger at Ampatuan, who is known as a warlord, and who has controlled the area for the past decade, and is even known as a ally of the current president Arroyo. The army consists of at almost 500 men. When a person from the Mangudadatu family decided to run in the next elections, the Ampatuan family was obviously outraged, as they kept the gobiernal position within their own kinship for so long.
Arroyo has declared the region of Maguindanao as being in a state of emergency.

Past family feuds or rivalries are not uncommon in the south, and there are stories that the government has overlooked such tragedies in the past. Whether or not Arroyo will bring justice to those who were killed last week will be a turning point in her career as well as life in the south. The overlooking of past killings have culminated into the overall sentiment that anything goes as long as you have the military power. Finding the people responsible would make a statement to the people living in the area that there is still a sense of justice in the area, and might reduce the amount of warfare in the area. As for Arroyo’s presidential career, the country is waiting on how she will respond to this incident, and criticisms will definitely be made about her ability to lead the nation.

Warning: this is kind of graphic.. =/

Esmael Mangudadatu, vice mayor of Buluan town who is running for provincial governor, also said his wife was sexually assaulted and mutilated before being killed in the mass slaughter, which he and police said was organized by his political rival.

“We can’t call him an animal because I have pets and they are tame. No, he is a monster. They are monsters,” Mangudadatu told reporters Wednesday.

“We sent women because in the Muslim culture you don’t hurt women,” he said.

“My youngest sister was five months’ pregnant, while my aunt was into her sixth month of pregnancy.”

Mangudadatu gave a sickening description of his wife’s fate.

“My wife’s private parts were slashed four times, after which they fired a bullet into it,” he said.

“They speared both of her eyes, shot both her breasts, cut off her feet, fired into her mouth. I could not begin to describe the manner by which they treated her.”

to read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20091126-238433/We-cant-call-them-animals-they-are-monsters



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