Filipinos are now up in arms against the senseless massacre in one of the highly tensed province of Maguindanao in Mindanao. There were about 24 bodies already recovered and the death toll is expected to rise to 46. The victims included Genalyn Tiamzon-Mangudadatu, the wife of Esmael Mangudadatu who was believed to be on their way to file his candidacy for governor, their relatives and even media men. According to Esmael, his wife told him over the phone that the group of the Ampatuans blocked their path, and that has been their last conversation. The politically motivated killings last Monday has been condemned by every Filipino.
The Philippine Government has placed Cotabato City, and the provinces of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat under a state of emergency today, November 24, 2009. The massacre is said to be the result of a clan and political war between Esmael Mangudadatu and former Governor Datu Andal Ampatuan. Clan rivalries has been very evident in the Philippine political scene, and that includes the Mangudadatus and the Ampatuans. Private armies of politicians equipped with heavy firearms is also a common scenario in the province. The Ampatuans are believe to be a very close ally of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.The Ampatuans delivered a 12-0 victory for administration candidates during the 2007 elections.