Monday, November 23, 2009

Philippine elections in jeopardy: 40 already killed in election-related violence

Four days after the start of the filing of Certificates of Candidacy, more than 40 people have already been killed in all parts of the country, the most gruesome, the massacre of 36 people in Sharif Aguak town in Maguindanao. And Mrs. Arroyo's closest ally in Mindanao, Datu Andal Ampatuan, the governor of the province is being blamed for it.

Ampatuan was three-time mayor of Sharif Aguak town and governor of the province. ARMM governor Zaldy Ampatuan, Gloria Arroyo's closest ally in Mindanao, is his son. Other relatives dominate Maguindanao politics.

Ampatuan is a certified warlord, just like Idi Amin, the mastermind behind the massacre of whole towns in Uganda. Totally surprising why government allows such warlords to wreck havoc and promote violence in the province. Reason?

Government is using political warlordism as a counter-force against dissent and secessionist groups in Mindanao. Most political clans in Mindanao are also used in counter-insurgency operations. They provide militia and muscle to the military.

I would not be surprised if the Arroyo government treats this massacre as a PR problem.

Come to think of it, its a blessing that this massacre happens because the world now knows how the Ampatuans lord it over in Maguindanao. His son Zaldy controls ARMM while his other sons serve as mayors of other small towns in the province.

The Ampatuans is a political dynasty and should not be allowed to exert influence anymore in Mindanao politics. They should be destroyed.

If government fails in its mission, that of neutralizing or putting Datu Andal Ampatuan behind bars, it just shows how useless, stupid and totally weak this government really is.

This massacre is a direct affront to the government and to the entire Philippine Republic.