Ampatuan Massacre Highlights Continuing Violence Vs Women: Gabriela Women’s Party


MANILA — The commemoration of the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women (VAW) in the Philippines got a piercing highlight in the Ampatuan massacre that occurred two days before the anti-VAW’s day last week. “What happened in Maguindanao underscored the vulnerability of women amid fierce struggles as in an electoral struggle,” Gabriela partylist representative and aspiring senator Liza Maza said.

On November 23, a convoy of relatives and supporters of prospective Maguindanao gubernatorial candidate Esmael Mangudadatu, led by his wife Ginalyn, was abducted by armed troops reportedly led by Andal Ampatuan Jr., currently mayor of Datu Unsay, a municipality in Maguindanao, and also a prospective gubernatorial candidate in the 2010 elections.

Participants to the anti-VAW event make their sentiments known. (Photos by Marya Salamat /

Even children want the violence to end.

A call for the violence to end in Maguindanao.

A call for the violence to end in Maguindanao.

Gabriela highlights its advocacy to end violence against women.

The convoy, composed of many women supporters of Mangudadatu, had been on their way to file his candidacy in Shariff Aguak. “This is woman power in action,” Ginalyn Mangudadatu had reportedly quipped as other women, relatives and supporters and about 30 or more media workers joined her.

Maguindanao is known as Ampatuan country — her husband’s plans to run for governor has reportedly irked the Ampatuan warlord clan to the point that Esmael Mangudadatu was reportedly warned he would be cut to pieces if he filed his candidacy.

The members of the convoy, along with people believed to be just passing through, were later found murdered, mutilated, some bearing signs of torture and rape. Most were buried with their vehicles in Ampatuan tow. Ginalyn bore gunshot wounds in the mouth; her vagina was slashed four times before it too was shot; her legs were sawed off.

The next day, when only a third of the victims (now counting 57) were already known — the rest were still being unearthed from the perpetrators’ mass burial and attempted cover-up — members of Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) in the National Capital Region strongly condemned the rape and killings in a women’s caravan against violence against women. Attorney Connie Brizuela of Gabriela-Davao was found murdered with the victims.

Share This Post

2 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. This reminds us again of the unsolved cases of Karen & Sherilyn, the 2 missing students of UP! What if all women will terminate their pregnancies after knowing that they are conceiving males and all new born male babies be killed long before they become rapists and abusers? What do these males think of themselves, they’ll not live if it were not for their mothers who are females!!!!

    But women are not terrorists, are nurturers and advocates of life to the fullest. These make them persevere in the midst of violence, INCREASING VIOLENCE… and as each blood is shed by a woman for life’s cause.. buckets of tears are shed that water the fast germinating seeds of hope, the growing seedlings of change, the robust life of the revolution!

  2. why in this world such agony against women never ever ends. are we not tired of keep on repeating the same mistakes again and again?. are those who are responsible for such a barbaric crime don't have women on their families?… their wives, their children?…. is this present administration dont have women leaders that on the very moment dont have implemented an exact law that highly protects women from all forms of violence? nor.. give enough protection and support for those who are already victims of this turmoil?. how many young and innocent, brave and courageous filipino women will have to suffer and offer their very own lives just to awaken the sympathy of our country men?

    Mga babae, if they are not willing….. wag natin hayaang libo pang buhay ng mga kabaro natin ang malagas bago tau kumilos. ngayon na ang tamang panahon.

Comments are closed.