Mangudadatu recalls Maguindanao massacre

Published November 22, 2019, 4:06 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Ben Rosario

The House of Representatives remembered with a silent prayer the 58 men and women who were brutally murdered in what is now known as the Maguindanao Massacre that shocked the nation 10 years ago.

Maguindanao 2nd district Rep. Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu (photo courtesy of Maranao scribe Moh Saaduddin / MANILA BULLETIN)
Maguindanao 2nd district Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu (photo courtesy of Maranao scribe Moh Saaduddin / MANILA BULLETIN)

Leading the commemoration of the event, Maguindanao Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu stood on the floor to deliver a privilege speech on Wednesday in which he admitted that the carnage was apparently triggered by the resolve of many Maguindanaoans to put an end to the corrupt and vicious regime of the Ampatuan clan.

In his speech, Mangudadatu also noted that after the murders staged by Datu Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan Jr. and over 100 heavily armed men, his family and those of other victims were disappointed by the slow progress of the investigation which was delayed by the lack of scene of the crime special equipment and probers.

The former Maguindanao governor appealed to Congress to immediately pass his legislative proposal for the creation of SOCO (scene of the crime operatives) units in Philippine National Police regional offices and local police stations.

Among the 58 killed were Mangudadatu’s wife, Genalyn Tiamson Mangudadatu and sisters, Vice Mayor Eden, Farina, and Farida, both surnamed Mangudadatu.

Also slain in the massacre was Manila Bulletin correspondent Alejandro “Bong” Reblando.

Mangudadatu said the victims were on a convoy of several vehicles when the party was waylaid at the remote sition of Barangay Salman, Ampatuan town on November 23, 2009.

The group was headed to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to file the certificate of candidacy of then Buluan town vice mayor Esmael who was set to challenge Unsay’s brother, Governor Zaldy Ampatuan in the gubernatorial race of Maguidnanao.

“As law-abiding and peace-loving Filipinos who were also clamoring for changes “to secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of democracy under a regime of justice, peace, liberty and equality” in the province of Maguindanao, my family and I made the decision for me to file my candidacy for the gubernatorial race of Maguindanao in spite of the odds,” Mangudadatu recalled.

Death threats started pouring in after the Mangudadatu family announced the decision, prompting the candidate and other family members to allow women to represent him at the Comelec.

Mangudadaatu said that being Muslims, they “took to heart” the teachings in Qur-an where Allah mandates total respect to women.

But this was not to be as 17 bullets form high-powered firearms found their mark in the body of his wife.

“Unsay Ampatuan and his minions mercilessly took away from us my wife, siblings, close relatives and associates, 32 media practitioners, and 6 other civilian casualties who were mistaken as part of their convoy. Fifty-eight people had their lives lost and 58 families and some more had their lives changed forever,” Mangudadatu lamented.

He said the long search for justice added further to the pain that many relatives had experienced in losing a loved one to a senseless act of violence.

“As the 10th anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre is approaching, we, the family of the victims, are still waiting for the dispensation of justice. We express our dismay over the defense’s ploy to makeup stories alleging the recantation of our star witness’ testimony,” the administraiton lawmaker stted.

He added: “In behalf of the 58 murder families, I am asking for real justice to be served so that this may act as a reminder to some power-hungry politicians out there that murder and other forms of impunity will not go unpunished be it in this life or in the hereafter.”

Mangudadatu also appealed to his colleagues to support his bill that seeks the establishment of SOCO units in all of the country’s localities.

He said SOCO investigation is expected to help build up a case against criminal suspects, adding that pieces of evidence are expected to be preserved and eventually pinpoint the culprits.

“There is so much more that we have to do and passing this bill will be part of the process so that crimes like the Maguindanao Massacre will be investigated fast and thoroughly, thus, discouraging those who have the intention to commit such grisly crimes in the future,” said Magnudadatu.

The massacre victims:

Genalyn Tiamson – Mangudadatu Wife of Esmael Mangudadatu
Eden Mangudadatu – Municipal Vice Mayor of Mangudadatu, Maguindanao, sister of Esmael Mangudadatu
Rowena Mangudadatu – Cousin of Esmael Mangudadatu
Manguba Mangudadatu – Aunt of Esmael Mangudadatu
Faridah Sabdulah – Lawyer
Farida Mangudadatu – Sister of Esmael Mangudadatu
Farina Mangudadatu – Sister of Mangudadatu
Concepcion “Connie” Brizuela – Lawyer
Cynthia Oquendo – Lawyer
Catalino Oquendo – Father of Cynthia Oquendo
Rasul Daud – Driver of Sultan Kudarat Rep. Pax Mangudadatu
Alejandro “Bong” Reblando – Manila Bulletin correspondent
Henry Araneta – DZRH correspondent based in General Santos City
Napoleon “Nap” Salaysay – DZRO manager
Bartolome “Bart” Maravilla – Bombo Radyo Koronadal, South Cotabato
Jhoy Duhay – Goldstar Daily
Andy Teodoro – Central Mindanao Inquirer reporter
Ian Subang – Mindanao Focus, a General Santos-based weekly community newspaper
Leah Dalmacio – Mindanao Focus reporter
Gina Dela Cruz – Mindanao Focus reporter
Maritess Cablitas – Mindanao Focus reporter
Neneng Montano – Saksi weekly newspaper reporter
Victor Nuñez – UNTV reporter
Ronnie Evardo – UNTV editor
Daniel Tiamson – UNTV driver
Reynaldo Momay – Koronadal-based journalist
Rey Merisco – Koronadal-based journalist
Ronnie Perante – Koronadal-based journalist
Jun Legarta – Koronadal-based journalist
Val Cachuela – Koronadal-based journalist
Santos “Jun” Gatchalian – Davao-based journalist
Joel Parcon – Freelance journalist
Noel Decena – Freelance journalist
John Caniba – Freelance journalist
Art Betia – Freelance journalist
Ranie Razon – Freelance journalist
Archie Ace David – Freelance journalist
Fernanado “Ferdz” Mendoza – Freelance driver
Eduardo Lechonsito – Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat government employee
Cecille Lechonsito – Wife of Eduardo Lechonsito
Mercy Palabrica – Co-worker of Eduardo Lechonsito
Daryll delos Reyes – Co-worker of Eduardo Lechonsito
Wilhelm Palabrica – Driver
Anthony Ridao – National Statistics Coordination Board employee and son of Cotabato City councilor Marino Ridao

 
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Mangudadatu recalls Maguindanao massacre

Published November 22, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ben Rosario

The House of Representatives remembered with a silent prayer the 58 men and women who were brutally murdered in what is now known as the Maguindanao Massacre that shocked the nation 10 years ago.

Maguindanao 2nd district Rep. Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu (photo courtesy of Maranao scribe Moh Saaduddin / MANILA BULLETIN)
Maguindanao 2nd district Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu (photo courtesy of Maranao scribe Moh Saaduddin / MANILA BULLETIN)

Leading the commemoration of the event, Maguindanao Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu stood on the floor to deliver a privilege speech on Wednesday in which he admitted that the carnage was apparently triggered by the resolve of many Maguindanaoans to put an end to the corrupt and vicious regime of the Ampatuan clan.

In his speech, Mangudadatu also noted that after the murders staged by Datu Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan Jr. and over 100 heavily armed men, his family and those of other victims were disappointed by the slow progress of the investigation which was delayed by the lack of scene of the crime special equipment and probers.

The former Maguindanao governor appealed to Congress to immediately pass his legislative proposal for the creation of SOCO (scene of the crime operatives) units in Philippine National Police regional offices and local police stations.

Among the 58 killed were Mangudadatu’s wife, Genalyn Tiamson Mangudadatu and sisters, Vice Mayor Eden, Farina, and Farida, both surnamed Mangudadatu.

Also slain in the massacre was Manila Bulletin correspondent Alejandro “Bong” Reblando.

Mangudadatu said the victims were on a convoy of several vehicles when the party was waylaid at the remote sition of Barangay Salman, Ampatuan town on November 23, 2009.

The group was headed to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to file the certificate of candidacy of then Buluan town vice mayor Esmael who was set to challenge Unsay’s brother, Governor Zaldy Ampatuan in the gubernatorial race of Maguidnanao.

“As law-abiding and peace-loving Filipinos who were also clamoring for changes “to secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of democracy under a regime of justice, peace, liberty and equality” in the province of Maguindanao, my family and I made the decision for me to file my candidacy for the gubernatorial race of Maguindanao in spite of the odds,” Mangudadatu recalled.

Death threats started pouring in after the Mangudadatu family announced the decision, prompting the candidate and other family members to allow women to represent him at the Comelec.

Mangudadaatu said that being Muslims, they “took to heart” the teachings in Qur-an where Allah mandates total respect to women.

But this was not to be as 17 bullets form high-powered firearms found their mark in the body of his wife.

“Unsay Ampatuan and his minions mercilessly took away from us my wife, siblings, close relatives and associates, 32 media practitioners, and 6 other civilian casualties who were mistaken as part of their convoy. Fifty-eight people had their lives lost and 58 families and some more had their lives changed forever,” Mangudadatu lamented.

He said the long search for justice added further to the pain that many relatives had experienced in losing a loved one to a senseless act of violence.

“As the 10th anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre is approaching, we, the family of the victims, are still waiting for the dispensation of justice. We express our dismay over the defense’s ploy to makeup stories alleging the recantation of our star witness’ testimony,” the administraiton lawmaker stted.

He added: “In behalf of the 58 murder families, I am asking for real justice to be served so that this may act as a reminder to some power-hungry politicians out there that murder and other forms of impunity will not go unpunished be it in this life or in the hereafter.”

Mangudadatu also appealed to his colleagues to support his bill that seeks the establishment of SOCO units in all of the country’s localities.

He said SOCO investigation is expected to help build up a case against criminal suspects, adding that pieces of evidence are expected to be preserved and eventually pinpoint the culprits.

“There is so much more that we have to do and passing this bill will be part of the process so that crimes like the Maguindanao Massacre will be investigated fast and thoroughly, thus, discouraging those who have the intention to commit such grisly crimes in the future,” said Magnudadatu.

The massacre victims:

Genalyn Tiamson – Mangudadatu Wife of Esmael Mangudadatu
Eden Mangudadatu – Municipal Vice Mayor of Mangudadatu, Maguindanao, sister of Esmael Mangudadatu
Rowena Mangudadatu – Cousin of Esmael Mangudadatu
Manguba Mangudadatu – Aunt of Esmael Mangudadatu
Faridah Sabdulah – Lawyer
Farida Mangudadatu – Sister of Esmael Mangudadatu
Farina Mangudadatu – Sister of Mangudadatu
Concepcion “Connie” Brizuela – Lawyer
Cynthia Oquendo – Lawyer
Catalino Oquendo – Father of Cynthia Oquendo
Rasul Daud – Driver of Sultan Kudarat Rep. Pax Mangudadatu
Alejandro “Bong” Reblando – Manila Bulletin correspondent
Henry Araneta – DZRH correspondent based in General Santos City
Napoleon “Nap” Salaysay – DZRO manager
Bartolome “Bart” Maravilla – Bombo Radyo Koronadal, South Cotabato
Jhoy Duhay – Goldstar Daily
Andy Teodoro – Central Mindanao Inquirer reporter
Ian Subang – Mindanao Focus, a General Santos-based weekly community newspaper
Leah Dalmacio – Mindanao Focus reporter
Gina Dela Cruz – Mindanao Focus reporter
Maritess Cablitas – Mindanao Focus reporter
Neneng Montano – Saksi weekly newspaper reporter
Victor Nuñez – UNTV reporter
Ronnie Evardo – UNTV editor
Daniel Tiamson – UNTV driver
Reynaldo Momay – Koronadal-based journalist
Rey Merisco – Koronadal-based journalist
Ronnie Perante – Koronadal-based journalist
Jun Legarta – Koronadal-based journalist
Val Cachuela – Koronadal-based journalist
Santos “Jun” Gatchalian – Davao-based journalist
Joel Parcon – Freelance journalist
Noel Decena – Freelance journalist
John Caniba – Freelance journalist
Art Betia – Freelance journalist
Ranie Razon – Freelance journalist
Archie Ace David – Freelance journalist
Fernanado “Ferdz” Mendoza – Freelance driver
Eduardo Lechonsito – Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat government employee
Cecille Lechonsito – Wife of Eduardo Lechonsito
Mercy Palabrica – Co-worker of Eduardo Lechonsito
Daryll delos Reyes – Co-worker of Eduardo Lechonsito
Wilhelm Palabrica – Driver
Anthony Ridao – National Statistics Coordination Board employee and son of Cotabato City councilor Marino Ridao

 
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