In relation to the forthcoming May 2010 National Elections in the Philippines, a convoy of people – unarmed men and women civilians, journalists and lawyers – aiming to nominate a main challenger to a gubernatorial seat and known leader of a clan in Maguindanao – southern part of the country – were barbarically and brutally killed. Women were even raped and disgraced.
The Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Aquino immediately ordered a thorough investigation of the massacre and declared a state of emergency in the provinces affected in the southern Philippines – Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City.
Wittnesses pointed the mayor and son of the leader of the leading patriarch clan in the province as the mastermind and one of the hundred men involved in the massacre.
That the bloodbath made possible was partly and indirectly the responsibility of the government – the Comelec (Commission on Election). By moving the Comelec Satellite office from Cotabato City to Maguindanao also means that a political candidate has to be registered in the latter city in where the perpetrators reign. It is well known in the area that they have money, power and private armies to protect their ”territory”.
According to a Philippine journalist and a blogger Jun Mercado:
It all began about three weeks ago with a Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution directing the transfer of the Comelec Satellite Office from Cotabato City to the Provincial Capitol in Maguindanao.
Then another resolution was issued, this time directing all candidates in the province to file their certificates of candidacy at the provincial ‘capitol.’
These resolutions looked innocent when read and seen outside the provincial’s concrete political context.
Anyone in the place knows that the said resolutions follow the logic of the local politics and the control over the Comelec on the ground.
Comelec cannot feign ignorance of these realities nor washes its hands in the ensuing massacre in Maguindanao.
The concrete experiences of 2004 and 2007 elections and the participation of Comelec in the province are too gross to ignore.
There is a reason and definitely politics in the physical shifting ‘capitol’ sites in the province. There is a need to locate the ‘capitol’ in a place to ensure total control.
Still the fact remains that the perpetrators are the prime responsible for the massacre. Whether or not that the main suspect is an allied to the president of the Philippines definitely does not excuses him from the crime.
This massacre – totally ignoring the basic human rights – is unacceptable in the present civilized modern world. The perpetrators does not deserved to be called humans.
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