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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Philippines: 21 Killed in Pre-poll Violence

Credit: philippines.bayaw.com
Maguindanao, Philippines

Gunmen killed at least 21 people in the southern Philippines on Monday, apparently to prevent a woman from filing her husband's nomination to run for provincial governor in May next year.

In a deadly attack that is being seen as one of the worst incidents of election-related violence in the Philippines, 21 people have been killed after a group of about 100 gunmen took a group of 36 people hostage. Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner, a military spokesman in Manila, said 21 bodies had been recovered in Maguindanao, a province in the southern Philippines that has often been wracked by violence during elections. The gunmen are believed to be followers of a local politician, who wanted to prevent a rival from filing a nomination for upcoming elections. Authorities believe other bodies have been buried.

Sources said that Genalyn Tiamzon-Mangudadatu, wife of Esmael Mangudadatu, the deputy mayor of Buluan, was on her way to file nomination papers in lieu her husband, for the election of provincial governor. She was accompanied by and several journalists and lawyers, who were among those taken in a mountainous area in Maguindanao province on the southern island of Mindanao. While Maj. Gen. Alfredo Cayton, a security spokesman said that the abducted people were shot, relatives of the people killed in the incident said that many had been beheaded.

Mr. Mangudadatu said the female relatives including his wife and sister were filing his candidacy papers with hope that women would not be attacked. His uncle, Pax Mangudadatu, who is the governor of Sultan Kudarat Province, said the deputy mayor’s supporters had been targeted by backers of Andal Ampatuan, the current governor of Maguindanao. The families are reportedly bitter political enemies.

Philippines usually faces spates of violence during elections, especially in the southern parts of the nation, where security forces are battling communist rebels, Islamic radicals and the clan rivalries. Armed criminal groups and mercenaries hired by political warlords have worsened the situation. Elections are scheduled to be held for local and national elections in May' 2010 for which the filing of documents began Nov. 20.



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2 comments on Philippines: 21 Killed in Pre-poll Violence

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By Mritunjay on November 24, 2009 at 06:17 am

Update 1:

The death toll has crossed 40 as per latest reports from CNN. The Government has imposed a state of emergency in the troubled southern parts of the country on Tuesday. cnn.com

Voice of America reported the number of dead to be 46. www1.voanews.com

News agencies also reported that the government was placing survivors of the Monday attack into witness protection.

The area where these killings occurred, Maguindanao, is a province in Mindanao, a Muslim autonomous region out of the control of the central government.

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By Mritunjay on November 26, 2009 at 01:09 am

57 people were killed in the incident. The primary suspect in the massacre Andal Ampatuan Jr., a local town mayor, finally surrendered to presidential adviser Jesus Dureza. He is being taken to Manila for questioning. The government has already imposed emergency in the area and the election commission has allowed the willing candidates to file nominations in adjoining province given the fear in the area.

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