Friday, November 23, 2012

3 years after Ampatuan massacre: Justice for the victims and their families!

IN MEMORY AND RAGE AGAINST THE AMPATUAN TOWN MASSACRE

Islamic New Year is not a happy new year for people in Gaza in Palestine and right here in our backyard for many families whose loved ones have been lost to barbaric perpetrators of crimes such as the Ampatuan town massacre whose wheels of justice continue to grind slowly.

This massacre symbolizes the worst atrocity in Philippine electoral history.

We recall that the very foundation of this Reform ARMM government is to fight for electoral reform and inevitably against electoral violence. We Bangsamoro must be relentless in this crusade, especially against para-military armed groups, rido/vendetta and the proliferation of unregistered firearms.Why must the majority without power and arms be victims of the political fights of the elite and dynasties ?

The Ampatuan town perpetrators are symbols of power gone mad, power that was supposedly lent temporarily and used recklessly, how we young reformists must always remember to be responsible. No sympathy for a Muslim wrongdoer should be spared. Upon the start of End Violence Against Women commemoration this Monday, we as women must continue to condemn and be shocked that the women were mercilessly violated upon, breasts slashed, bodies raped. There is no religion here but wanton , brazen disregard for all human ethical values.

In memory of the lost journalists who strove to tell the untold stories of Bangsamoro homeland, let us continue to seek justice for we Muslims must defend the innocent and the media in our sincere search for Bangsamoro self-determination.

Let us urge the MILF and ulama to join in this cause. And to help seek redress for the others who continue to experience a culture of impunity in Bangsamoro homes such as we in Marawi where an MSU Professor Othello was mercilessly killed and burnt in his own domain last October 25. Three weeks later, a "witness" Estrella, 14 year old student of AKIC, Marawi City, did not survive her second degree burns in an Iligan hospital where no BURN unit in Northern Mindanao could be found to isolate her from infection.

There is no turfing when it comes to protecting the innocent. The wars now are wars against the inhumane. There is no ARMM, Marawi , Lanao or MSU jurisdiction in the murder of one. It is everyone's jurisdiction. For if we have MARATABAT/HONOR to defend our own blood, the more we should have RAGE to defend those without families to defend them, the Christians (the vendors, the orphans, the weak) who entrusted themselves to study and live here in our homeland.

SAMIRA GUTOC
Former Philippine Daily Inquirer correspondent
Assembly representative for Women, ARMM
Chair, Education Committee - Assembly


Source of image of crescent moon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crescent

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