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Maguindanao Massacre

Mangudadatu, Ampatuan clan member to run under LP in 2013 polls

October 4, 2012 2:29pm
(Updated 3:16 p.m.) The 2013 elections will bring two members of warring families in Maguindanao — whose feud resulted in a grisly carnage in 2009 — under one political banner: the Liberal Party.

According to a report by GMA News’ Cedric Castillo on Thursday, incumbent Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu will seek re-election while Datu Sarif Ampatuan will run for mayor in Shariff Aguak under the administration party.

The Ampatuans were blamed for the killing of 58 people, including Mangudadatu’s wife and relatives, in a massacre on Nov. 23, 2009, considered as the worst case of election-related violence in the country.

“Pinag-uusapan natin ito tungkol sa pulitika. Tungkol naman sa dugo, dugo ko naman sila, hindi talaga maiwasan na dugo ko sila,” said Ampatuan, half-brother of former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., one of the prime suspects in the massacre.

Ampatuan will be going against the wife of Anwar Ampatuan, grandson of Andal Sr. and also an accused in the massacre case.
Mangudadatu, who filed his certificate of candidacy in Cotabato City on Thursday amid tight security, said not all Ampatuans should be linked to the massacre. 

“Meron akong assemblyman d’un, meron akong mayors d’un, si Sarif Ampatuan. Si Norodil Ampatuan ng Mamasapano. Marami silang supporters and these Ampatuans are mababait,” he said.

Accompanied by more than 2,000 supporters on board different vehicles, Mangudadatu filed formalized his re-election bid at the provincial election office in Cotabato City around 10 a.m. Thursday.
Mangudadatu’s caravan caused heavy traffic along Juliano Avenue, a police official in Cotabato City said. Later on, Mangudadatu apologized for the incident. 

On the morning of Nov. 23, 2009, Mangudadatu’s wife and relatives, accompanied by several journalists and supporters, were gunned down by men associated with the Ampatuans while on their way to Cotabato City to file his COC. At that time, Mangudadatu, then vice mayor of Buluan town, was set to challenge an Ampatuan member for the province’s top position.

On Thursday, Mangudadatu’s party traversed the same highway the ill-fated convoy used in 2009.

“Hindi ko gagawing fanfare yung pagpa-file namin [ng COC), ang security naman talagang nandyan,” Mangudadatu said. Amita O. Legaspi and Malu Manar/KBK/RSJ, GMA News
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