The Mess in Mindanao

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo declared the province of Maguindanao in Mindanao Island under Martial Law (it was lifted already today). According to the government, it is because they have reports that the Ampatuan clan, with it’s private armies, is preparing to launch rebellion against the government.

After the martial law declaration, the army was able to unearth caches of ammunition and high powered guns. According to retired General Jovito S. Palaparan, more popularly known among the activists as “berdugo” for allegedly masterminding the killing and disappearance of their leaders and important people, it was the government itself, though tita Glo, who armed the Ampatuans. The Ampatuans had been fighting, together with the government, the MILF and other secessionist movements in Mindanao. It was just natural for the government to help its ally protect himself by providing guns and ammunition.

As far as the 2007 election is concerned, the Ampatuans are credited for the large margin of winning votes for the administration’s Lakas party, who fielded Ate Glo as its president. Of course, we are not even talking here if the means used were fair. Maybe Garci can shed light on the controversy.

The relationship between the Ampatuans and the government only changed when Andal Ampatuan himself, according to a witness as reported by TV, masterminded, and even shot some of the 57 dead victims of, the November 23 massacre.

After most of the Ampatuan family members were arrested, the guns and ammo’s seized, maybe they feel they have been abandoned by their ally.  Their name is allowed to be gradually destroyed and even left to rot by the piercing and unceasing daily negative publicity.

The Ampatuans are fighting back. They can show the government, and even the world, that the Philippine state is weak without them. So, they plan for a rebellion. But the government knew about their plan before they can even execute them.

Now, if this rebellion is true, this is indeed big trouble for the Philippine government.  Remember, Philippine military has not put an end to Abusayyaf, MILF, and all those kidnappings, even as they try their best to help bring justice to the 57 dead victims. And now, the military’s confirmed former-ally-now-suspect of the massacre, is allegedly planning a rebellion. It’s now ally against an ally. This is going to be very messy.


The Scene of the Crime Operative, popularized by ABS-CBN’s Gus Abelgas as S.O.C.O, in stating that the women victims of the Mindanao massacre were not raped, explained that the bloating of the dead body caused the zipper and the pants of the women to loosen and open. I heard the explanation on TV. If someone explained why the pants of the lady found in a vehicle was not only open, but was also down, I might not have heard it.

TV showed swabs supposed to contain the liquid collected from the private parts of the women victims. Soco’s representative explained that they look at the samples in a microscope. They know that a woman was violated when the liquid sample taken from her contains other things, like semen.

The autopsy conducted by members of Soco took about three days, if I may recall it rightly.

When the body of the Muslim women victims were not buried on the same day they died, or were found dead, because of the autopsy, there was a violation of the Muslim tradition.

As if this was not enough, here comes Commission on Human Rights, headed by Leila De Lima. She landed in Mindanao few days ago, and with her were crime scene experts from around the world. They exhumed the body of the victims, among others, and conducted an autopsy of their own.

Of course, the CHR has a more reasonable conclusion: that the women might have been violated indeed.

I just do not understand the delay. They allowed that the victims be buried only to be exhumed once again. The act of exhuming the victims even after they were buried late as prescribed by Muslim tradition is I think insensitivity to the same tradition.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.