As a concerned Filipino citizen, the current situation at Maguindanao deeply upsets me. Aside from the gruesome massacre which, no doubt, shook the whole country, I am even more appalled by the lack of justice and by the number of weapons acquired by the military from the properties of the Ampatuan clan.
Why would someone like Mayor Andal Ampatuan Sr. and the Ampatuan clan have all these weapons? For what purpose? Well, we are aware of the rebel groups hiding around Maguindanao area but does this threat justify the massive weapons collected from the Ampatuan properties?
With the sheer number of high powered ammunitions, machine guns, rifles and bags of bullets, and using common sense alone, one can easily guess that they weren't merely for protection.
Furtheremore, it's Christmas.
After facing the onslaught of nature through several typhoons which rocked Metro Manila, now, we are faced with this dilemma. Moreover, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo even announced a state of Martial Law for the Maguindanao Province.
As far as I can recall from my previous subject regarding the Philippine Constitution, the state of Martial Law can only be declared in cases of invasion or rebellion, and which in this case, are both mere assumptions from the side of the government. That's why I'm having doubts as to the efficacy and reason behind the announcement of Martial Law.
The Martial is now on its 15th day and the Military has been patrolling Maguindanao nonstop which, no doubt, has caused terror, unrest and fear for the civilians residing in the area. Media footage also showed the Military forcibly dragging Ampatuan Sr. from a hospital in order to transfer him to another hospital which is nearer the military base. There was also a footage of an arrest made by the military for the male members of the Ampatuan clan.
If the state of Martial Law wasn't declared, this would be a clear violation of human rights. However, since Maguindanao has been declared under Martial Law, even due process and human rights are undermined. This, added with the fact that justice has yet to achieved for the victims of the aforementioned massacre.
Although I doubt that this predicament will be solved easily, I still hope and pray that the people behind the massacre be put to jail, and that all of the innocent people involved be spared.
Let's all unite and pray for the victims of the Maguindanao massacre for this is as much as we can do...