Maguindanao massacre a precedent of 2010 elections, bishop warns

Nov. 30, 2009

DAVAO CITY – The gruesome killing of almost 40 people in Maguindanao yesterday could serve as a precedent of what is to come of the 2010 elections according to a bishop from the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP).

“We condemn in the highest terms this atrocious attack against the members of the media, legal profession and the hapless civilian victims, most of whom are women,” said Bishop Constante Claro of the UCCP– Southern Mindanao jurisdiction and the regional spokesperson of the electoral watch dog Pagbabago..

“This brutal murder underscores the state’s failure to protect its citizens in times when election-related violence haunt far-flung areas in the country, especially in Mindanao where the rule of political warlords remain largely uncontested,” Claro added.

Claro also said that the recent event spells danger for the coming electoral polls.

“This is a naked display of impunity and alarming indeed as it has been the history of our country’s political arena which always featured the ruling elites who are backed by the military,” Claro explained.

“We call on for the concerned agencies and authorities to immediately conduct a thorough investigation and that all the perpetrators should be persecuted to bring justice to the victims,” Claro urged.

“Should President Gloria Arroyo fail to address this problem and fail to punish the perpetrators, we can only expect that the culture of impunity in the country will worsen, an atmosphere that will only serve status quo and preserve the rule of political warlords,” Claro said.

Bishop Claro enjoins all Filipinos to unite in steadfast prayer that peace based on justice reigns supreme in our land where everyone upholds human dignity.

For reference:

Bishop Constante Claro

Regional spokesperson, Pagbabago

Mobile phone number: 222-1337

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