Da Coconut Repablik

A Chronicle of the Da Pinoys and Da Coconut Repablik of Da Pilipins

Da Pinoy Chronicle: On Three Years After The Maguindanao Massacre: Yellow Journalism?

This is just an another day at the office. I don’t want to offend people in this article, this is just my personal views regarding this event. The Maguindanao massacre was one of the most brutal episodes of electoral violence in the Philippines. 57 people were killed by the Ampatuans, one of the most powerful political clans in the ARMM.

Esmael Mangudadatu, the vice mayor of Buluan invited around 37 journalists to cover the scheduled filing of his certificate of candidacy. He had already received threats from his political rivals and he invited journalists to deter such a threat.

A group of journalists, lawyers and his relatives were on their way to file his COC. A group of armed militiamen had stopped them and abducted the 57 men. They brutally killed these men and dumped them at a mass grave. The backhoe tried to hid the evidence of such a massacre, but they were too late.

The massacre were condemned by the national government as well as several media and international organisations. Both political clans were under the same banner of the LAKAS KAMPI CMD.

Immediately after the incident, former President Gloria Arroyo declared a state of martial law on December 4, 2009. Philippine Army battalions had came  Maguindanao to enforce and restore order, as well to arrest the suspects. The Ampatuans unsuccessfully appealed to the former President.

The Ampatuans were arrested and were flown to Manila. Some of the political armies of the Ampatuan had threatened to attack the capital, but the crisis was averted. The Army had captured several rifles, crates of ammunition, several armoured cars and an improvised armoured vehicle.

After that incident, a group of loyalists tried to bomb and kill Mangudadatu while on his way, but this was unsuccessful. The trial went for 3 years, but no one was still convicted of murder.

The Ampatuan still held some power in the ARRM, but the Mangudadatus have already gained the upper hand as the powerful political clan in the area. The Media had sensationalised the event to the point of some lunatics to declare that Arroyo had planned to enforce martial law at the whole country.

This incident had spurred the hatred of Arroyo even more. They directly blamed her of the massacre, and the Media were so good at reporting the allegations against her.

The bandwagon is still there, still making fabricated allegations against her without concrete evidence. The impeachment trial of Corona was an example of the trial by media circus. I am sure that Filipinos will always blame her for everything wrong.

3 years after the massacre, several journalists are holding several rallies for justice. Activists have all demanded justice for the only 32 victims that were journalists.

Protesters gather in Mendiola to commemorate the third anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre. Behind them are the 32 coffins representing the journalists who were among the 58 killed in Sharif Aguak on Nov. 23, 2009.

From my point of view, the Ampatuans are no different from several other political dynasties in the country. They want to preserve their power and they will do anything to justify their preservation of their power for the common good.

While most political dynasties killed their opponents through summary executions and assassinations in secret, the Ampatuans had made a mistake of making it public.

Oh political dynasties and people, don’t be hypocrites. You know that political dynasties will do anything for them to win the elections. The people meanwhile elected them through popularity and charisma than competence, intelligence and substance. For 26 years, we had got the same and same result over again.

I can compare it to a group of nomads circling at the circle endlessly. I am neither at the side of the Ampatuans or Mangudadatus because they are all both the same.

Accept this fact: the ones who were killed at this massacre were only people. In fact, it was a few number of people compared to the number of journalists killed since 1986. Underneath the media’s sincerity, there exists an agenda or personal interests, in fact it is common for people or groups to have personal interests. They are hiding the fact that there are 600 journalists that were killed for the past 15 years.

The political system of this country is a failure. Filipinos still insist to stick to the status quo than to point out the flaws and make attempts to change it. Our society’s refusal to accept change, reform or progress makes the Philippines a Banana Republic.

While the Media continues to blabber that we are in a democracy, killings of individuals will still continue. The political dynasties will do it to preserve their interests.

They will use the illusion of populism and democracy to fool the masses over and over again. They will ally themselves with large media companies in order to overly sensationalise the news. They will just play with the gullible minds of the masses.

Thanks to the distorted view of the Filipinos about freedom and democracy, we are now living under a state of delusion. While the political oligarchy refuses to open up our country to free trade in order to protect their interests, while the Catholic Church continues to wield considerable power and influence over the country, while the oligarch allied corporations still insist and oppose political, constitutional and economic reform, while the deluded Leftists and the Nationalists are still fighting for their outdated ideals, while the Yellow mob still continues to blabber about the Cory magic.

While the Media still continues to demonise anyone who act against their interests, spreading rumours to oppose reforms, worthless Television shows with little substance, Pinoy Pride, stupid nationalism and stupid militarism, Poor Stupid Juan will just say ‘bahala na’.

There is no doubt why Filipinos are sad and depressed. Our society’s inherent backwardness and laziness are hindering us to taste the pie of prosperity. 26 years after the People Power Revolution, our neighbours are now on the top, while Juan will still remain at the bottom. As said by Ilda, we are an emotionalist society with little regard for rational thinking.

But as the story says, be sure to read the next chapter. As sung by Rico Blanco “Kung ayaw may dahilan, kung gusto palaging merong paraan”


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