Massacre in Philippines
AMPATUAN, Philippines – Officials found 11 more bodies Wednesday at the site of an attack on an election caravan in the south, bringing the death toll in the massacre to 57, and police said they are investigating a member of a powerful clan allied with the president's administration.
Six of the bodies in southern Maguindanao province were discovered in a large pit buried alongside three vehicles, and five were found in a mass grave a few miles ...ff the main highway.
The vehicles — a sedan and two vans — were crushed by a large backhoe that ran over and buried them,
(Driver still at the wheel\)
The dead from Monday's massacre included the wife and two sisters of gubernatorial candidate Ismael Mangudadatu and 18 Filipino journalists accompanying the caravan. It is the largest number of reporters killed in a single attack anywhere in the world, according to media groups.
Police identified the prime suspect as Andal Ampatuan Jr., a scion of the powerful Ampatuan clan led by the former provincial governor. The clan, which has ruled the province unopposed for eight years, helped President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her allies win the 2004 presidential and 2007 senatorial elections by delivering crucial votes.
The military also said it will disarm two government-armed civilian militia companies, or about 200 men, in the province. The militia are meant to act as an auxiliary force to the military and police in fighting rebels and criminals but often serve as a private security force.
Mangudadatu, after receiving death threats, had sent his wife and relatives to submit his candidacy. He wanted to challenge Andal Ampatuan Jr., who serves as a town mayor and whose family has ruled the province with an iron fist backed up by private armies and legions of bodyguards.
Mangudadatu said four people whom he refused to identify told him the convoy was stopped by dozens of gunmen loyal to Ampatuan. Police said they are investigating reports that Ampatuan, four police commanders, and dozens of police and pro-government militiamen were among the gunmen who blocked the convoy.
National Police Chief Jesus Versoza said the four commanders — including one provincial police chief — were relieved of their duties and confined to camp while being investigated.
...Few think Arroyo will be able to restore the rule of law in the impoverished, lawless region that has been outside the central government's reach for generations, and where warlords backed by private armies go by their own rules. Maguindanao's acting governor is Sajid Ampatuan, another son of former Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr., the clan's patriarch. Members of the family could not be reached for comment.
The clan helped deliver votes for the Arroyo administration in 2004 elections. Human Rights Watch expressed concern Wednesday that the administration's relationship with the family would hinder an impartial investigation.
Arroyo's ruling party, in an emergency meeting late Wednesday, expelled Ampatuan Sr. and his two sons.
...Among the dead journalists was Alejandro "Bong" Reblando, 53, a former Associated Press stringer and the most senior in the group of reporters. Reblando, who was based in General Santos City, was a staffer for the Manila Bulletin daily newspaper.
He covered the southern Philippines for the AP from the late 1980s to the early 2000s, reporting on the Muslim separatist insurgency as well as local politics.
He is survived by his wife and seven children.
in RP now, my first thought is - At what stage of Collapse does feudalism become (remain) (again) the most efficient form of polity?
if the Govenors family is permitted to stand, we can say that Feudalism reigns,
I believe these Xtian clans are from xtians that were moved to Mandanao, in Spanish or more recent times.
RP expects to import 3B Tons of rice next year - just might not be there to import...
I am musing a lot on food... having just travelled in the uplands Cordillera, much terracing and huge trucks of chickenshit negotiating the multitude of freakish landslides. vegetables for the lowlands.
I want to understand why Central planning of food failed, and why Capital produces so much
A Subject rarely discussed beyond the jingoistic "free market" slogans.
Usually accompanied by romantic pictures of the "small farmer"
who as V Shiva tells us, has blistered ankles from the Urea (s)he is forced to buy on credit to feed the hungry varieties. Diesel irrigation pumps required. 160,000 Indian farmers have killed themselves in recent years, after "failing" - usually they drik the insecticide that IRR8 also demands.
Example 1: Vietnam ra[pidly became a rice exporter after ]pseudo-privatisation" in the 80s
Failure: this is a major part of Capital, the ability to fial (but note that GM couldnt be allowed to)
question: if a Vietnamese farmer "fails" on his leased land does the state throw him off as ruthlessly as a private landlord?
Note the IRRI in Laguna Luzon developed the high yield rice [2.5x] That has led to a 2.5x in world population.
But the RP has ;languished in a feudal morass
Who has explained these things??
Collapse chronicles are active:
but I havnt had airtime recently to obsess
There was a tradition here of not shooting women and children... A couple days ago, crossing a Baguio street in the rain, with a child on my shoulders, on a Pedestrian crossing (which are a joke in RP, mainly a danger of slipping on the paint) a car cut across, I yelled "arsehole" . the driver skidded to a stop , got out and confronted me. I was hardly in a position to fight, having a 15kg child on my shoulders. Fortrunately some vestiges of tradition remain, and the guy didnt knife me.