Saturday, November 28, 2009

Philippine Mayor Charged over Massacre of 57 Defenceless People

I woke up today with the headline of yet another politically related brutal and senseless killings of innocent civilians in my home country, Philippines, particularly in Maguindanao. "Philippine politician charged for murder" is the most popular news at Yahoo 7 (Australia) News beating the headline on politics regarding Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull over the Emmision Trading Scheme that is jeopardizing his leadership.

A witness claims to have seen Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr ordering killings and personally firing at convoy of journalists and political rivals. "He was the one who gave the instructions. He was among those ... who killed the victims," Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera told reporters as she outlined the case against Ampatuan Jnr.

How would you react if you read these accounts? According to Devanadera "Even the private parts of the women were shot at. It was horrible. It was not done to just one. It was done practically to all the women. All the women had their zippers undone. The pants of some were pulled down ... We have yet to determine whether they were raped. But it is certain that something bad was done to them." What a gruesome picture.

Watching Isang Bandila, a 30-minute TV Filipino News program at SBS yesterday afternoon, I saw Ampatuan shouting and putting the blame on one of the Muslim groups, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who are responsible for kidnap-for-ransom of many foreigners in southern Philippines. The news this morning says that the MILF denied the killings.

These brutal killings are certainly the acts of the devil that continue to feast on the lives of people seeking power, popularity, and political dynasty. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) as the Bible says. Mind you, politics in the Philippines is just heating up. It is six months to go before the national elections. Demon possessed politicians are now mobilizing their goons, guns and gold (money) ready to unleash the sting of murderous intent causing death and suffering.

Is there hope for the Filipinos?  Absolutely Yes! "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14) May God comfort the grieving families of the victims of this massacre and embrace them with His loving arms. May Justice be served and all the perpetrators be penalized. God bless the Philippines!


Andal Ampatuan Jr in a jail cell in Manila after being arrested for ordering the massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao province. Photograph: Bullit Marquez/AP
Map locates Maguindanao province in the Philippines, where gunmen hijacked a convoy and killed at least 57 people


MAGUINDANAO PROVINCE, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 24: Friends and relatives grieve at the scene of a massacre of at least 46 kidnap victims on Monday in Ampatuan town, on November 24, 2009 in Maguindanao Province, Philippines. Around 100 gunmen are reported to have hijacked the party, including the wife, sister and other relatives of Buluan's Vice Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu, en route to filing election papers for candidate Mangudadatu ahead of next May's elections. Mangudadatu's wife, sister and family members, Armed Forces of the Philippines, civilians and at least 12 media personnel are thought to be amongst those killed in the attack, believed to be politically motivated. The Ampatuan clan, political rivals, are being blamed for the kidnap, mutilation, rape and murder of the victims. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images)


Relatives wait as police recover dead bodies along a hillside grave in Ampatuan municipality, Maguindanao province, southern Philippines on Tuesday Nov. 24, 2009. Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo placed two southern provinces under a state of emergency, giving security forces free hand to pursue gunmen who killed at least 46 people in one of the country's worst election massacres. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)


Filipino villagers dig a shallow grave of victims at the scene of a massacre of a political clan, which included several journalists, on the outskirts of Ampatuan, Maguindanao in southern Philippines November 24, 2009. Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo placed two southern provinces and a city under emergency rule on Tuesday after 24 people were killed in the worst-ever election related violence in the country. REUTERS/Erik de Castro (PHILIPPINES CRIME LAW CONFLICT)


MAGUINDANAO PROVINCE, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 24: A Filipino policeman conducts an investigation following the massacre of at least 46 kidnap victims on Monday in Ampatuan town, on November 24, 2009 in Maguindanao Province, Philippines. Around 100 gunmen are reported to have hijacked the party, including the wife, sister and other relatives of Buluan's Vice Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu, en route to filing election papers for candidate Mangudadatu ahead of next May's elections. Mangudadatu's wife, sister and family members, Armed Forces of the Philippines, civilians and at least 12 media personnel are thought to be amongst those killed in the attack, believed to be politically motivated. The Ampatuan clan, political rivals, are being blamed for the kidnap, mutilation, rape and murder of the victims. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images)



Civilians look on as police officers carry dead bodies on a dump truck along a hillside in Datu Ampatuan, Maguindanao province, southern Philippines, on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009. Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo placed two souuthern provinces under a state of emergency, giving security forces free hand to pursue gunmen who killed at least 46 people in one of the country's worst election massacres. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
MAGUINDANAO PROVINCE, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 24: Friends and relatives grieve at the scene of a massacre of at least 46 kidnap victims on Monday in Ampatuan town, on November 24, 2009 in Maguindanao Province, Philippines. Around 100 gunmen are reported to have hijacked the party, including the wife, sister and other relatives of Buluan's Vice Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu, en route to filing election papers for candidate Mangudadatu ahead of next May's elections. Mangudadatu's wife, sister and family members, Armed Forces of the Philippines, civilians and at least 12 media personnel are thought to be amongst those killed in the attack, believed to be politically motivated. The Ampatuan clan, political rivals, are being blamed for the kidnap, mutilation, rape and murder of the victims. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images)

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