The Truly Abused.
April 24, 2010 Leave a comment
This article does not intend to be in defense of the Ampatuans, nor does it intend to incriminate others. But I think it warrants our attention.
The Maguindanao massacre was a horrible, horrible crime. In it, 57 innocent lives, including scores of journalists, were lost. The Ampatuans, the suspects of the crime, are currently in detention awaiting determination of probable cause for the crime of rebellion, and awaiting sentence for multiple murder.
Prior to Maguindanao massacre, the Ampatuans are one of the most influential Muslim families in the south of our country. During election cycles, most (if not all) of national candidates who desire to put Muslim Mindanao in their column graciously court the endorsement of this family. Minor families in the area clamor to be part of the Ampatuan slate, whether in the Maguindanao or ARMM local elections. Many politicians of various political color wish to have their blessing, with it comes the guarantee of a landslide victory in the province of Maguindanao.
Until November 23, 2010.
Today, the Ampatuans are politically ostracized and condemned by national politicians. Their endorsement is seen, at least in Manila, as a kiss of death to any candidate. Their blessing then is now a curse. This is because of a crime charged against them that is yet to be proven.
I do not intend to claim that the Ampatuans are innocent of the crimes; if they are, proven through legit judicial proceedings, then they should truly be accountable for it.
A few days back, Andal Ampatuan, Jr., the reported perpetrator of the massacre, endorsed the candidacy of Noynoy Aquino, citing that it was through the latter’s mother, President Cory, that the Ampatuans were given the opportunity to enter politics. Andal, Sr., the father, was appointed OIC by President Aquino. Andal, Jr.’s endorsement was seen as black propaganda by Noynoy, the endorsed, which would have been different should the Maguindanao massacre not occur nor were charged against them.
This gives us an overview of opportunism in Philippine politics, that does not excuse any local candidate/clan from the claws of user politicians. In times of prominence, everyone seeks your attention or a parcel of your time. In times of trouble, everybody deserts you. In my view, the Ampatuans were abused, too.
I believe the Ampatuans deserve their day in court to prove their innocence on the bloody massacre. But I believe also that, in the process of seeking justice, the Ampatuans were deprived of the same. In the language of politics, their state is called in a word with four letters – USED.