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Workers’ Digest
Special Issue
December 2009

Justice for the Victims of the Maguindanao Massacre
Break the Warlord Clans, Dismantle the Elite System



The Partido ng Manggagawa condemns in the strongest terms the massacre of more than 50 people in Maguindanao, including 18 media workers and two government employees, by the private army of a local warlord. We condole too with the families of the victims who apparently are the collateral damage in a deadly game of political rivalry between two prominent political clans.

The date of November 23 will now live in infamy as arguably the single bloodiest day in history for media workers. The brazenness of the atrocity absolutely highlights the rule of impunity by warlord political clans in the rural hinterlands.

These modern-day political lords govern over these poor provinces and towns like the fiefdoms of old times. Yet these warlords survive only with the tolerance, nay connivance of the national government in Manila. The corrupt regime in Malacanang and the warlord clans feed off each other in a symbiotic relationship to preserve a rotten social system that oppresses the people, especially the poor.


The political debt of the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the Ampatuan clan, the principal suspect in the massacre, is common knowledge. In the fraudulent elections of 2004, the Ampatuans delivered an incredible plurality of ballots for Arroyo in Maguindanao to the point where in one town her electoral rivals received no votes. What is less acknowledged is the role played by the armed forces in propping up the warlord rule of the Ampatuans in the guise of battling the Muslim insurgents in Mindanao. The cache of highpowered arms uncovered in the property of the Ampatuans reveal the cozy association between the military and the warlords which can only happen with the blessing of Malacanang.

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