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News :: Human Rights : International : Politics : Social Welfare : War and Militarism
19 Feb 2010
Senator Manny Villar has a secret alliance with the Ampatuan clan, principal suspects in the brutal massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao province, and he has to explain how he intends to give justice to the Ampatuans’ victims, the Liberal Party demanded today.
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“Like his master President Arroyo, we demand that Senator Villaroyo explain why he can afford to ally with murderers and rapists and pretend to be a champion of the poor that the Ampatuans have exploited for a long time in Maguindanao,” LP Director General Chito Gascon said.

Buluan Vice Mayor Ismael "Toto" Mangudadatu, whose wife was among those massacred by Andal, Maguindanao Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. while on her way to file his certificate of candidacy in Sharif Aguak, the province’s capital, had earlier revealed that Villar met with former ARMM Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. and ARMM Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan two days before the massacre.

According to Mangudadatu, Villar even slept in the house of the Ampatuans before the massacre. Mangudadatu lost his wife, two sisters, and several relatives in the Nov. 23 massacre.

Gascon said this is proof that Villar is willing to forge alliances with political forces that had long been the reason behind massive poverty and widespread corruption in the country.

“Senator Villaroyo is already in secret alliance with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and now with the Ampatuans of Maguindanao. Most likely, Villaroyo was scheming with the Ampatuans and the Arroyos on how to win the elections the way the Arroyos and the Ampatuans have won them in the past elections,” Gascon said.

It is widely known in political circles that Maguindanao elections have been controlled by the Ampatuan clan for many years, and in fact gave Mrs. Arroyo one of her biggest victory in the 2004 presidential elections when her opponent Fernando Poe Jr. scored zero in many precincts in the province.

The Ampatuans’ political opponents also usually meet fatal attacks by members and supporters of the clan, like what happened to the Mangudadatus in the November 23 Maguindanao massacre.
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