Saturday, November 28, 2009

Governor's son charged in Philippine Massacre

The slaughter seems to have been quite indiscriminate. If the article is correct that 29 journalists were killed this would be a record of sorts I am sure. One wonders why 29 journalists would be covering this event even if the election convoy was of considerable interest locally. That the perpetrators thought they could get away with this unscathed is remarkable. Even Arroyo probably cannot protect her loyalists when they engage in actions such as this.

Governor’s Son Charged With Leading Philippines Massacre

Posted By Jason Ditz

Andel Ampatuan Jr, the mayor of a town in the Maguindanao Province and son of the province’s governor, has turned himself in today and will face murder charges for his alleged role in this week’s massacre of 57 people in an election convoy.

The Ampatuan family is politically powerful in Maguindanao and Andel Ampatuan Sr. held the governorship unopposed for three consecutive terms. Andel Jr. reportedly led local police and militia members to stop the convoy carrying family members and supporters of the opposition candidate, and the group slaughtered 57 people including dozens of journalists and the opposition candidate’s wife and two sisters. Andel Jr. denies having played any role in the attack and insists he only turned himself in to prove his innocence.

The Ampatuan family has close ties with Philippines President Gloria Arroyo and was warned that if they did not turn over Andel they faced attack by the nation’s military.

Reporters Without Borders has put the number of journalists killed in the massacre at 29, making it reportedly the single deadliest attack on members of the press in the history of mank

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