Provinces in the south were hit the hardest while a “state of calamity” has been declared in the city of Cotabato where some 67,000 residents have been affected by the storm.
Hundreds of families have been forced to evacuate since the imposed lockdown due to continuous military operations allegedly against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). But the aerial bombings and mortar shelling victimized civilians; the latest casualties include two children and a pregnant woman.
“Suara Bangsamoro stands that if the AFP is sincere in its desire to achieve peace in Maguindanao, it should immediately recall its troops from their civilian encampments.”
“Civilians are forced to flee out of fear. Displacement, especially when it’s prolonged and repeated, uproots people from their normal lives and causes untold suffering,”
The Suara Bangsamoro is calling for a stop to the government’s all-out offensive against Moro rebels as thousands of civilians are the ones who bear the brunt of the military aggression.
Family Undaunted in Search for 58th Ampatuan Victim
Bulatlat.com covered the events relating to the first anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre on Nov. 23. Read the updates here. To learn more about the massacre, read our past stories, commentary and view multimedia content.
A Year Later, Aquino and Ampatuan Massacre
MAGUINDANAO — Residents push their way inside a polling precinct in Buldon town. Hundreds of voters are getting impatient — shouting, shoving, banging the doors of the precinct, demanding that they be allowed in. An army soldier tries to break a scuffle while poll watchers and the BEIs insist that voting should be one at a time. This year’s elections, will serve as a test to Philippines’ fragile democracy. Once an inspiration to emerging democracies for its “people power” overthrow of the American-backed autocrat Ferdinand E. Marcos, the Philippines has suffered from poor governance in the past decade.
MAGUINDANAO — Despite the rain, voters in Tugaig, a village in Barira town, continue to line up. ‘See these people? They line up to vote. But will the politicians do to them after being elected? They will ignore them,’ says a woman beside me.
By CARLOS H. CONDE
Despite the promise of order that computerization brings, the conduct of the elections in Maguindanao province and other areas in Mindanao leaves much to be desired.