Tags: ampatuan massacre

The failure of investigators to secure the crime scene, the apparent contamination of forensic evidence, and the weak rebellion case filed against the perpetrators have led people to believe that there is a high probability that the Ampatuan clan would walk away with the murder of 57 people, even as the case has generated a strong international concern.

By ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO The Ampatuans’ rise to the peak of political power was in no small part due to their ties with the military. In a most ironic twist, the military proposed the extension of martial law in Maguindanao until the 2010 elections purportedly to teach the Ampatuans “how to run peaceful and credible elections.”

The Cordillera region is not spared from state-perpetuated and state-supported political violence, according to the CPA, citing the provinces of Abra, Apayao and Kalinga as having a history of election-related and politically motivated killings and other forms of violence allegedly allowed to happen through powerful politicians and warlords with goons and private armies.

On Wednesday, hundreds of Filipino journalists and activists, along with several of their colleagues from other countries, marched to Mendiola to mark the “Global Day of Action Against Impunity.” The journalists and activists demanded an end to impunity and blamed the Arroyo regime for the rash of killings of activists and journalists nationwide. Listen now

Today, hundreds of Filipino journalists and activists march to protest the Ampatuan massacre, in which 57 people — 31 of them journalists — were slaughtered in the worst election-related violence in the history of the Philippines. Follow today’s events through Bulatlat’s Twitter feeds and the occasional live video: Tell us what you think about the…

The Commission on Audit’s annual reports on Maguindanao have always highlighted deficiencies in the province’s finances. In its 2008 audit report, the commission found that it could not ascertain the validity of the provincial government’s claim that the province had more than P107 million pesos deposited in banks. The COA also could not verify the existence of properties and assets worth P345 million pesos that the province said it had.

The perpetrators obviously thought that they could get away with their atrocity. The only possible explanation for such impunity is that these people were confident somebody higher up would protect them. We hold the regime of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo accountable for what happened in Ampatuan. It was her regime that had benefited from the reign of terror in Maguindanao. It was her regime that had encouraged and nurtured the violence that led to the massacre.