Statement of Condemnation on the Massacre of Women, Lawyers, Journalists and Civilians in Maguindanao
The Mindanao Peoples’ Peace Movement (MPPM), a network/coalition of human rights and peace advocates coming from different grassroots tri-people organizations in Mindanao and the provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi,condemned in the strongest term possible the abduction and subsequent massacre of women, lawyers, and journalists in Maguindanao on November 23, 2009;
The mass murder is a barbaric and savage act that has no place in civilized societies.The perpetrators of this dastardly act have acted in complete disregard for human rights, sanity, law and order. This just shows the depth of the pits that our democracy has sank into where would-be political rivals are eliminated at will and with ease by the ruling political elite in the country.
The recent incident is just one of the manifestations of how our political system of elite democracy has bred the worst kind of barbaric ruling elites such as the warlords and kingpins that are covetously guarding over their respective political domains. They have become the little gods who dispenses orders and decides over the fate of people, curtail dissent and effectively neutralizing the competition;
What is more unfortunate and sad is that the National Government seemed powerless to take action against the perpetrators, completely inutile in the face of these savagery.
While the declaration in the Provinces of Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato and Maguindanao in a State of Emergency is supposed to stabilize the brewing situation in these areas, however, the declaration is also an effective way of covering up the traces of the massacres as investigation in the areas can become doubly difficult. This is because the local police and military have lost the credibility and moral authority in conducting the investigation with top police officials in the Maguindanao Province being implicated in the carnage;
We, therefore, call upon all sectors to be united and more vigilant in the face of the recent killings and barbarism that trample upon our human rights and decency;
We joined other groups and sectors that are expressing their grave concern and alarm over these detestable acts committed by the perpetrators of the mass murders;
We are calling for an impartial and transparent investigation that will look into the cases of mass murders. We are afraid that there are more people killed than reported, innocent civilians that happened to ply the same road at the same time as the victims during that fateful day of the massacre;
Further, we strongly demand for the National Government to give justice to all the victims of the mass carnage and show to all citizens and to the world that it can protect its citizens from these ruthless criminals regardless of their political affiliations. Now is more than ever the time for the State to assert itself as the protector of the human rights of the people and not be cowed by these blatant display of savagery of its political allies.
Finally, we express our sincere condolence and sympathies to the families of those who are killed especially our fallen Lumad Council of Peoples Representatives, Mr. Napoleon Salaysay from the Bagobo tribe, who died in the performance of his duty, being one of the journalists killed in the Maguindanao massacre.
25 November 2009
Reference: Mabel Carumba
Secretary General, MPPM
Contact #: 09205065235