And so it begins...  

Posted by Laya in

Mindanao, my Mindanao, what is happening to you? Today you bring terrible news. While on the way to file a candidacy for governor, about 40 people, including journalists, were seized and killed in Maguindanao.

The numbers and identities vary. The wife of Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu was in the group, on her way to file her husband's candidacy; some sources say his two sisters, too, were there, along with other relatives. Journalists, too, were in the convoy, including, it is believed, Mindanao correspondents for most of the radio and print media. Some say there were about 11 journalists in the convoy, others say as much as 30. Reports say that 21 bodies have been found; others say that all of the people in the convoy had been killed. There are even rumors that the women in the group had been raped before being murdered and beheaded; someone is quoted as saying that the victims were shot, or run over, or beheaded. In this election year, so far, it is the most atrocious of all the atrocities that have been committed in the name of politics.

The Mangudadatu clan single out their political enemies as having done the deed, saying that they had received death threats should they file candidacy for governor and challenge the incumbent clan. Apparently, the death threats apply to anyone, even to women.

I just don't know what to say anymore. These atrocities leave me inarticulate with anger and sorrow. Perhaps this is the most atrocious --and heart-breaking-- election-related killing AND journalist killing in one fell swoop, although I don't have the concrete statistics for those. Sometimes just when you think we are progressing away from all those blood feuds and violent acts that marred our history, an incident like this comes along that reminds us that we are not that far away from our dark past after all.

With sorrow I recall my second year in high school, when we received an influx of transferees already well into the school year. They had all come from the north, non-Muslim settlers who were fleeing the war. Two of them were put in our class.

When I asked one of them why they had transferred so late in the semester, she replied that there was a ridu or clan war in the town they had fled from. That one of the things that had happened was that one of these clans had taken a little boy from their enemy clan, nailed him to the door of one of the classrooms in the elementary school, and used him for target practice. In horror and disgust, many of the people in the place fled, including my classmate and her family.

What is this thirst for blood, Mindanao?

I don't want it to degenerate again into an us-against-them, Muslim-against-Christian battle, as many comments already go to show. I don't want it to be a "It's a Muslim thing, let them kill themselves" sort of thing. I don't want it to be either prejudice or apathy. I know you to be more complex than that-- an infinitely exasperating, yet not-unlovable complexity. But how can we solve this problem that has been centuries in the making? What sword of Alexander would unravel this Gordian knot?

This entry was posted at Monday, November 23, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

0 people cared

Post a Comment

Quality affordable condos in Manila

Own an affordable Ayala Land condominium in the heart of Manila. It's located beside SM San Lazaro, a five-minute ride away from the University Belt and UST, and a stone's throw from LRT Tayuman Station.

Now pre-selling units in Tower 5.
Studio (22.4 - 23.49 sq. m.) - P1.6M - P1.8M
1BR (39.36 - 40.73 sq. m.) - P2.9M - P3.3M
2BR (45.49 sq.m.) - P3.5M - P3.8M
Loft (39.85 - 66.83 sq. m.) - P3.2M - P5.1M

For inquiries please contact Eva at
or email mhie(underscore)bate22(at)yahoo(dot)com

AddThis Social Bookmark Button
MeFindome.org: Homeless Cats & Dogs for Adoption