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A Call to Stop Political Violence

Updated on August 15, 2011

The Maguindanao Massacre

Monday, November 23, was the date of one of the most gruesome (if not the most gruesome) massacre in the Philippines, if not the world. On this day, 57 people (at least!) were killed, all of them victims of political violence.

The killings were done in connection with the political plans of a certain vice-mayor to go against the ruling political family in Maguindanao (a province in Mindanao, Philippines). Even prior to the said date, this vice-mayor has already received threats from the same political family that they will kill him if he attempts to go against them. Fearing for his life, the vice-mayor asked both the police and the military to send their personnel to escort him when he files his certificate of candidacy (COC). Both times, his request was denied. In the end, the vice-mayor decided to request his family members (his wife, sisters, an aunt and several relatives) to file his COC. Thinking that they will not be touched, he allowed the women to be part of the convoy and even requested members of the media to go with the convoy. All the while, he was hoping that the women will not be harmed (due to their religion) and the journalists will be protected themselves by the mere fact that they were part of the media. He was wrong in both counts.

The Vice-Mayor whose wife was killed in the massacre (
The Vice-Mayor whose wife was killed in the massacre (

The 57 people killed that day included about 22 women. Of these women, one was the vice-mayor’s wife (said to receive the most torture from the killers), two were his sisters (one was pregnant) and one was his aunt (also pregnant) while the rest were either part of his team or women journalists. Of this 57 people, 22 were from the media who were just invited to cover the filing of the COC, while 15 were actually not part of the convoy. They were potential witnesses also killed and their only fault was that they were in the crime scene when the massacre happened.

One thing is clear in these killings, political desires were at force. There’s almost no doubt that the massacre was perpetrated to stop the vice-mayor from filing his candidacy and to protect the political dynasty of one family. Even though there has been political violence in the past, this is the worst of them all not only because of the sheer number of people killed within the day but also because it involves innocent women, journalists and even passersby. We are all still reeling from the gruesomeness of the crime done against these innocent people, a feeling that will not pass even in the near future. Local and even international communities were appalled by the massacre and the impunity with which it was planned and carried through.

Now the questions going in our minds are: will the real perpetrators of the crime be ever apprehended, tried and jailed? What were these perpetrators thinking when they hatched and carried out the plan? Did they think they will not be discovered? Despite the overwhelming and increasing evidences already gathered pointing to a member of the political family as the one behind the crimes, will the family’s closeness to the president result in this member going scot-free? Will there be further violence blowing up in that area (and even beyond) due to “rido” (revenge of the grieving family members against the family members of the political family)? Will other such politically-motivated crimes happen in my country? Will we ever see lasting peace in the area where the crimes were perpetrated and in the whole Philippines? And most of all, will we ever be free from such political violence?

I am writing this hub to call for an end to political violence.

I am writing this hub as a person who wants to see justice done for the crimes committed against my fellowmen.

I am writing this hub as a woman who is in shock with the way my fellow women were treated and killed.

I am writing this hub as a resident of Mindanao where Maguindanao is located and as someone who desires everlasting peace in this island I call home.

I am writing this hub as a Filipino who desires a clean, honest election for my people not only for the elections that will happen next year but also in the other elections to come.

I am writing this hub because, as a human being, it is my desire to see that, in every part of the globe (especially in my country), human rights are being respected at all times.

Most of all, I am writing this hub as a citizen of the world who only desires to see an end to such violence, not only in my country, but also in the rest of the world.

I dedicate this hub for the victims of the Maguindanao massacre. May justice be carried out not only on those who actually did the killings but also on those who masterminded them.


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    • emievil profile image

      emievil 8 years ago from Philippines

      Darn. 67! Times like this make me wish we still have the death penalty. They deserve the hanging and more! Thanks R. G. for the update. :)

    • profile image

      R.G. San Ramon 8 years ago

      The number has risen to 67... More people dead. More accurate description of the crimes. More people involved showing up. More Filipinos sympathizing for the victims. More people being aware of the capacity of political power. More people being careful of who they're going to vote.

      I say, keep them coming!

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 8 years ago from Philippines

      Mercury, I am so sorry to hear that. My prayers go out for your colleague, his family and you, his co-journalists.

    • MercuryNewsOnline profile image

      MercuryNewsOnline 8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thanks for the news coverage. One of my colleagues when I was writing for Malaya and Mindanao Journal was also one of those murdered in Maguindanao.

      We held a solemn tribute last Friday for the victims and our media colleagues. Please read my article Tribute to 27 Fallen Media... I wish our readers sign the petition to end the killings of media practitioners and political assassinations in the Philippines.

      In Solidarity,

      Edwin - MercuryNewsOnline

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 8 years ago from Philippines

      GH, uhm, I didn't exactly noted the keywords on this one. Just wanted to write this hub.

      @Papa Sez, ditto. Some people are so power hungry they will do anything to keep that power. Mga kapal mukha! :)

    • Papa Sez profile image

      Papa Sez 8 years ago from The Philippines to Canada

      Hi Emie, what happened is so painful and reprehensible. Unfortunately, I can still imagine what could be a more horrible ending to this...the perpetrators getting away with murder because of their "special relationship" with the powers-that-be. Disgusting!

    • GeneralHowitzer profile image

      Gener Geminiano 8 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

      Good thing you write about the tragedy in the Mindanao... I used limited keywords with my hub... My article about this tragedy is built for HP readers and writers only as much as possible... TC always my friend...

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 8 years ago from Philippines

      @myownworld, thank you for your prayers. That question on how human beings can be so capable of such atrocities is also going through my mind as I watch the news. It's saddening at the same time frightening.

      @dohn, you're welcome. We're getting a lot of sympathy and outrage from international communities. This crime is not only against the family but also against the press people.

      @keira, thank you. I hope so too.

      @Maita, you're welcome.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      Nice hub emie, thanks for sharing this to us and for everybody to understand what is going on in the southern part of our country! Maita

    • keira7 profile image

      keira7 8 years ago

      Its so much emotions reading your hub. I find it really hard to comment. I have a lot of admiration for you my dear Emievil for writing this great hub. I really hope that one day they will stop mixing politic with innocent people. Its so unfair. God Bless.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      This hub only solidifies my opinions about heaven and hell being right here on our planet. My heart goes out to those who've lost their lives through this despicable act. I'm so sorry to hear of this atrocity, Emie. Thank you for sharing this hub with all of us.

    • myownworld profile image

      myownworld 8 years ago from uk

      This brought me to tears. How can human beings be capable of such cruelty...really. you uncovered this story in a very powerful way...and my heart goes out to the victim's families. May they rest in peace! silent prayers....and much love x

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 8 years ago from Philippines

      @SweetiePie, you're welcome. I hope I've done my small part in helping raise the public's awareness and helping resolve such violence.

      @Shamel, thanks. You're quite right. Some people think nothing about killing innocent people just to further their ambitions.

    • shamelabboush profile image

      shamelabboush 8 years ago

      Well, this is truely gruesome! Those 57 paid the price of some stupid politicians and fanatics! This always happens. Some people think of wealth and power more than lives which is sad. This is nicely brought dear.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Wow that is very sad. Thanks for raising public awareness about this horrific event.