The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) condemns in the strongest possible terms the barbaric massacre of two outstanding people’s lawyers, Atty. Concepcion “Connie” Brizuela and Atty. Cynthia Oquendo, dozens of journalists, and other civilians in Maguindanao on 23 November.
Identified as the direct perpetrators of this heinous crime are the Ampatuan warlord clan, Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel, paramilitary Citizens’ Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) personnel, and other armed men of Ampatuan’s private army.
The Ampatuan warlords’ armed contingent of more than 100 abducted the convoy accompanying the wife of Buluan Vice Mayor Ishmael Mangudadatu and her family who were on their way to the Commission on Elections office in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao, to file the certificate of candidacy of Ishmael Mangudadatu for governor of Maguindanao.
The ruling Ampatuan warlord clan in Maguindanao has long enjoyed the favor and protection of Ms. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the police, military and paramilitary forces of the regime for delivering huge majorities in the 2004 and 2007 elections through massive fraud and brutal force. The impunity accorded by the corrupt and brutally oppressive Arroyo regime to the Ampatuan clan and other favored political fiefdoms has given them license to commit atrocious acts against the people in order to perpetuate themselves in power. It is highly irregular and scandalous that while the massacre was going on, Andal Ampatuan, governor of Maguindanao, and Zaldy Ampatuan, governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), were in Malacañang “for an emergency meeting”!
The NDFP vigorously condemns not only the direct perpetrators of the monstrous massacre but even more so the Arroyo regime for criminally cultivating the culture of impunity for its cohorts, in order to cling to power.
The NDFP holds Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her regime accountable for this massacre that deserves the outrage of the Filipino people. This massacre is the latest atrocious act, further aggravating the regime’s accountability for extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, frustrated killings, torture, and the uprooting of millions of people since 2001.
The NDFP demands an immediate end to the reign of impunity. It demands that all those responsible for this monstrous crime and other gross and systematic violations of the human rights of the Filipino people be brought to justice. The people must rise in outrage against this regime, the Ampatuan warlord clan and other cohorts of the Arroyo regime.
Luis G. Jalandoni
Member, NDFP National Executive Committee