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A sad news to peace advocates

Posted by AliUsman&Abdullah on November 29, 2009 at 10:40 AM

The massacre of several unarmed and peaceful people in Mindanao’s Ampatuan Province evokes a mournful event even in that troubled part of the world. It serves to encapsulate the terrible and ugly state of the nation which is rocked by political instability and severe economic problem.


Ampatuan province is named after the dominant clan in old Cotabato. It was created as a province perhaps to placate the demand of the warlord in the area. With that being the raison d’être of the province, perhaps the Ampatuans felt the territory belongs to them so no one should take it away from them. Sensing they have a potential rival to possibly wrest the mantle of leadership from the clan, they served notice that they are still the force to reckon with.


On second thought, the Ampatuans may not acting on their own, without any previous event or instance to hold on to. Sometime ago, massacres of similar magnitude used to happen in Muslim areas, particularly in Lanao del Sur and also North Cotabato. Scores of unarmed Muslims going to vote in an election were massacred by armed men in uniform. More than 60 civilians, men women and children were mauled down inside a mosque in Carmen, North Cotabato in the Seventies, and many more. The victims died like birds or animals as the perpetrators were never brought to face any trial as the law never works where Muslims are the victims but they suffer more than the normal consequences as perpetrators. Many other massacres by the infamous “Ilaga†, which were aided by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Filipino political as well as religious leaders, also did not merit any prosecution by the Filipino authorities since all the victims happened to be Moro Muslims. To erase the stigma of guilt from the conscience of Filipino, politicial leaders and the Armed Forces (AFP) Generals, they disbanded the "Ilaga" and renamed it while absorbing a number of their members into the regular force of the AFP.


Based on the above, perhaps the Ampatuans thought that the law could be availed in their favour as the President of the republic is a political ally. Hence, we can only wait and see.

Tags: moro massacres

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