The Maguindanao Massacre two days after. Photo by Patricia Evangelista for Rappler. Check out names of the victims by clicking on the photo.

I was able to convince myself that the Ampatuan massacre 3 years ago would had been just an isolated incident, if not given too much attention by our media.

But on a second thought, I believe that first, it is still considered the worst form of election-related violence ever for the intentions of the primary suspects were very obvious: they so wanted to exert their power and influence in the province where they ruled like royalty, and they would block others who would dare to contest their dominance by all means. Second, most of the media people involved there were the ones working on the sidelines (media crew drivers, cameramen, researchers, production assistants, and the like), yet the role of the media is very much valued in this country, as guaranteed by our Constitution.

Wherefore, we still have lots of reasons to condemn this brutal act. We do not want another kind of violence like this to prevail again. We do not want the most sacred exercise of democracy (ie election) to be jeopardized again. We want the most deserved justice to be served immediately to the victims. And we do not want to be silenced by merely the dominance of the powerful.

We do not want to be “backhoed” again.


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