Friday, December 11, 2009

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


The shedding of blood of 57 innocent civilians in the Maguindanao Massacre led to the uprooting of evil power and its imminent final destruction in that seemingly God-forsaken spot in the Philippines. Before the massacre, Maguindanao, a huge province in the island of Mindanao located in the southern part of the Philippines, was under virtual totalitarian control of the Ampatuan family, a political ally of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s ruling political party.

Election records will show that the votes cast in Maguindanao for President Arroyo during the 2004 presidential elections guaranteed her victory over the late Fernando Poe, Jr. It is also said that opposition candidates received zero votes in every election that assured victory of the President’s endorsed candidates in that province.

Then came the massacre of innocent civilians – journalists, traveling residents, and female members of another family that included their lawyers and aides – on the way to file a certificate of candidacy of another political leader for governor of Maguindanao in order to oust the incumbent Governor Ampatuan in next year’s elections. Is this Abel’s blood crying out from the ground?

It is good news that the Arroyo administration did not answer, “Am I my brother’s keeper? “ Somehow, President Arroyo proclaimed Martial Law in Maguindanao and ordered the arrest of all members of the Ampatuan Family involved in the massacre based on findings that they were all equipped with heavy and powerful firearms.

The Philippine government charged the Ampatuans of murder and rebellion to justify the imposition of Martial Law in Maguindanao. As long as the media will be allowed to cover every military move against those involved in the massacre and other military maneuvers to gather evidence such as buried firearms and ammunitions and election paraphernalia inside and around the Ampatuan Family mansions, I believe faster actions during martial law will help find swift justice for the victims.

Martial law is a dangerous tool of a government to solve political unrest. Its power should be limited to a specific area where the problem exists and later to be lifted when the problem is deemed to be under control, the sooner the better. For the Filipino people has vowed: NEVER AGAIN, to Marcos-Style Grinning Martial Law.

WE all try to believe that the Philippine Military is the protector of the people against invaders, rebels, and all lawless elements. This time, let’s give our soldiers and police the opportunity to prove to the Filipino people that they are the Guardians of Peace and Justice in a democracy by adhering to the principle that NO MAN OR WOMAN IS ABOVE THE LAW.



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