Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Maguindanao massacre

I was riding a bus home when this news caught my attention.

A convoy of a politician from Maguindanao, some supporters, and journalists were kidnapped and killed en route to their filing of certification of candicacies.

The fatalities were the wife, sister, relatives, and lawyers of Esmael Mangudadatu, who is going to run for governor of the province, and mediamen including reporters from DZRH, Manila Bulletin, and others.

Reports from newscasts, broadsheets, and the Internet said that the killings were connected to their family's rivalry with the Ampatuans. The elder Ampatuan is currently the governor while the son, the present mayor, is running for the same position as Mangudadatu.

It saddens me that people would kill over power. No, for more power. It has been in the history of the Philippines that during elections, you'll hear potential candidates getting ambushed or killed in cold blood -- and fingers would point to their rivals as perpetrators. In the city I live in, a mayoral candidate who questioned the results of the elections (where the incumbent won by a landslide) was gunned down by unidentified men years ago.

Politics in the Philippines is getting scarier. What's worse is that it's becoming a trend, a culture. And no one can do anything about it, even the police.

This dark episode in Philippine politics seems to have no ending in sight.

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