MANILA, Philippines—Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chair Leila de Lima Tuesday said the perpetrators of the mass murder in Maguindanao were “not human.”

Saying she had been shaking with rage since Monday night, De Lima let loose a mouthful on the killings, the Ampatuan family, and the national government.

“What kind of animals are these killers?” she told reporters at her office. “We are so shocked and enraged. This is beyond words. It is most despicable. This is the work of someone who is not human. It is a bestial act of the highest order. I have never seen anything like it. It’s brutal ruthlessness all in the name of power. It’s an affront to all forms of civility.”

…She wondered aloud where the 100 armed men who had carried out the killings came from.

“This only confirms that [the Ampatuans] maintain a private army. Why is this allowed? I would understand that the local police and military fall within their sphere of influence. But the national government? They know. What have the police and military been doing all this time?”

She also noted reports that the killings were carried out near a military detachment, and that policemen were among the 100 armed men.

and from jarius bondoc:

Ampatuan dynasty grew under Arroyo

From survivors’ accounts, Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., namesake-son of the Maguindanao governor, led the massacrers. A hundred riflemen reportedly shot the 43 political rivals and journalists, mostly female, in broad daylight. The provincial police chief, now in custody, was alleged to have joined in the killing spr ee. Some of the victims were raped, beheaded and mutilated. They were on their way to file the certificate of candidacy of Toto Mangudadatu for governor in May, against Andal’s dad. Their convoy was waylaid at a checkpoint of the Ampatuan private army. Andal slapped Mangudadatu’s wife in the face with the poll papers, provoking a sister-in-law to stab him. He ordered his men to fire at will, then had the backhoe of the provincial capitol brought in to hurriedly dig a mass grave.

How could Andal and his heavily armed band have acted with such impunity? No less than a Malacañang  source answered: “He already had horns; Gloria Arroyo let them grow longer.”

Warlords rise because abetted by the President, with shortsighted army and crooked police generals. The Ampatuans came to control Maguindanao, Muslim Mindanao’s largest province, ever since Arroyo became Commander-in-Chief in 2001. A good number of town mayors are sons of Andal Sr. by different marriages, sons-in-law, and grandsons. Zaldy, a son, is governor of the Autonomous Muslim Region. The Mangudadatus are related by blood and affinity.

Arroyo owes the Maguindanao political dynasty. In her 2004 run for a full presidential term, the Ampatuans delivered to her nearly 200,000 votes. Closest rival Fernando Poe Jr., a matinee idol vastly popular in Muslim Mindanao, got only less than 60,000, and incredibly zero in three towns. In the 2007 senatorial election Arroyo’s ticket won 12-0 against the opposition. Again unbelievably, the opposition did not get a single vote in 20 of the 22 towns.

Arroyo returns the favors by letting them rule Maguindanao like a fiefdom. All economic initiatives need the Ampatuans’ assent; state funds are released through them. Even the posting of police and military generals are cleared with them. All the Ampatuans are with the admin party. Zaldy was Malacañang’s choice for ARMM governor in 2005.

The elder Ampatuan is said to have gained political clout in the ’80s when, as a mayor, he took the military’s side against Moro separatists. He so pleased the generals that they took his followers into the paid militia and lent them light armor. The arrangement goes on to this day with the sons. In 2006 the Ampatuans’ might was enhanced when the interior department approved the arming with rifles of civilian volunteers against separatists. That practically allowed their supporters to stage checkpoints and patrols, and made the police a mere adjunct.

so.   the united nations and the european union have been quick to condemn this atrocity.   but we have yet to hear from the u.s. of a., our mighty ally with troops in mindanao, no less.   what’s going on???


  1. “Under the current government the Philippines has become the most dangerous place in the world for media workers. At least 74 journalists have been killed during its eight-year tenure, yet the Government has not acted to end the culture of impunity. At last count, only four convictions had been secured.”International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

  2. manuel ;)your mention of shabu got my son thinking of that “West Wing” special aired right after 9/11. script excerpt:

    BOY 1
    What was the first act of terrorism?

    TOBY (White House Communications Director)
    [to Josh] What was the first act of terrorism?

    I could answer, but I think he’s asking you, man.

    [sighs] I-I know it’s not new. I know in the eleventh century… I’m
    gonna have trouble pronouncing this, in the eleventh century, [sighs] secret followers of Al-hassan Ibn-al-Sabbah, who were taught to believe in nothing and dare all, carried out these very swift and very
    treacherous murders of fellow Muslims, and they did it in the state of
    religious ecstasy.

    Sam walks in behind, looking around.

    TOBY [cont.]
    As a matter of fact, young men between 12 and 20 were given hashish,
    and uh, smuggled into a… I really don’t know what they call it, they were smuggled into a kind of specially designed pleasure garden complete with concubines. They were told this was paradise, and that the Master’s Angels would carry them back if they carried out murders of the Master’s enemies.

    Ah, temptation. I have named thee, and thy name is woman.