Wednesday, 25 November 2009


(Photo: Liza Tripoli. FaceBook:Justice for Ampatuan Massacre Victims)

Statement of the Mindanao Commission on Women
24 November 2009

Mindanao women outraged over Maguindanao carnage

No words can describe the bestial acts perpetrated yesterday in
Maguindanao Against civilians, mostly women. Together with the
group were two sisters and the wife of Esmael Mangudadatu,
Vice Mayor of Buluan town, who were on their way to file his
certificate of candidacy as provincial governor of Maguindanao
when they were attacked in broad daylight. They were murdered in
cold blood and there were reports that some of the women were
also sexually violated, in a senseless massacre that will go down
in the annals of this country’s history as the worst election-related
If unarmed women,lawyers and journalists are not safe, who is safe?

From news reports, the Vice Mayor was quoted to have said that
he purposely sent his wife, sisters and female relatives to file
his candidacy without military escorts as he believed that they
would not be harmed being women and unarmed. But to his shock,
the perpetrators precisely took advantage of this position of
vulnerability and succeeded in committing those barbaric acts.

We, the Mindanao Commission on Women and the Mothers for
Peace, express our outrage at this new low in bestiality
perpetrated by men on civilians but most specially on women.
If the reports that the women were violated are found true,
we condemn it. Sexual violence is an issue
of power, domination and control wielded by men over women.
In times of conflict, it is used by men to ensure utter humiliation
of the enemy.This latest incident by men, who are widely-believed
to belong to a private army, makes us shudder at what will happen
in the days ahead if these criminals and their principals are
not brought to justice.

would like to extend our deepest condolences to the Mangudadatu
family. Eden Mangudadatu, sister of Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael
Mangudadatu, and a Vice Mayor herself had attended activities
of the Mindanao Commission on Women. It is ironic that early
this year Eden participated in discussions of our project,
“Women Healing Communities:Preventing and Reducing Rido
(clan feuds)”.
During the session, she shared her thoughts about rido and
how women played an important role in settling cases of clan

The barbaric and brutal massacre in Maguindanao shows the
total breakdown of security in parts of Mindanao
where many women and their families live in dehumanizing
poverty and violent conflict. We call on President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo – as President and as a woman - to do the right
thing:disband and disarm the private armies, bring down the full
force of the law on the perpetrators, and rid Maguindanao
and other parts of Mindanao of the scourge of warlordism.
We also call on our colleagues and partners in the development
community to stand unafraid to denounce this crime loud and clear.
Let us continue to work for the end of conflicts that divide us,
so that our children will grow up imbibing not anger, hatred and
violence, but love,justice and peace.

As Mothers for Peace, we commit to continue our work for peace
in the ways of peace.

Mindanao Commission on Women and Mothers for Peace Movement

121 University Avenue, Juna Subdivision, Matina, Davao City

Telefax: (082) 298-40-31

About MCW

The Mindanao Commission on Women was established in 2001 as
an NGO by Mindanao women leaders. Its mission is to influence
public policy and public opinion. It advocates for a Mindanao
peace and development agenda from a women’s perspective.
Area Core Groups across Mindanao give MCW the ability to
influence local, Mindanao and national issues.
The Mothers for Peace movement is its grassroots base.

No comments: