In these days, nothing is as it seems.


    That reality dawned on me when I and a handful of friends discussed how broken up we felt upon hearing news about the tragic slaughter of innocents in Maguindanao.


    While I had quite readily accepted whatever “evidence” were being brought forth, my friends weren’t quite as convinced.


    This is pretty much what we’re being told: The Ampatuans are the prime suspects of the atrocious bloodbath. They’re the bad guys. The Mangudadatus are the distraught victims. The Ampatuans should be punished.


    The thing is that as far as we’re all concerned, the Ampatuans are still innocent until proven guilty, no matter how uncomfortable that reality may be.


    Seriously… what “evidence” points to them being the guilty party?

    1. The testimony of the witnesses hiding in the Mangudadatus’ camp – apparently survivors of the massacre – refusing to make known their identity.
    2. A yellow-covered backhoe conveniently labeled “Property of the province of Maguindanao – Gov. Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr.” carelessly left behind by the murderers in the immediate vicinity of the carnage.
    3. They seem to be the obvious suspect simply because there’s no one else to point the finger to. They’re the only ones to blame.


    As far as I’m aware, that’s pretty much it.


    Any forensic evidence? No way… not in the Philippines. Let’s face the reality, is there anything at all that would prove that the Ampatuans are guilty without a shadow of a doubt? Do we have enough evidence that would prove them guilty without question?


    Sadly, no.


    Cold truth: Being the only suspect doesn’t make you guilty.




    An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth.


    I’ve heard someone say that – as with any clan war, it’s an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth – the Mangudadatus are sure to retaliate – especially if justice isn’t served. Wouldn’t that only mean more bloodshed? Senseless.


    The major question that would make this theory a clunker would be “How are the Mangudadatus to retaliate in similar fashion?”


    If indeed this turns out to be a war between clans, I’m afraid the government would only use it to declare martial law or something.


    It’s a set-up.


    I was rather intrigued by that notion when one of us brought it up during our conversation. It cannot be denied as a possibility.


    Perhaps there’s a third party involved. Their purpose?

    1. Create chaos between the Ampatuans and Mangudadatus so they can turn out to be the hero and win the elections.
    2. Frame the Ampatuans up in order to spark a political/clan war so that the government could declare martial law or something.




    Before this starts to sound like the ravings of a paranoid lunatic (if it doesn’t already), I guess I would just like to hit the point of this post home:


    The sad reality is that not many trust the government and the current justice system enough to really believe that justice will be served in this tragedy. Some would even be willing to believe that the government was behind it all.


    In short: Not many trust in the government’s ability. Some would be willing to believe that the government is evil.


    The moral lesson to this article: This isn’t the time to sit back and watch in apathy. This isn’t the time to foster an “if I’m ok, everything’s ok” attitude. There is a cause to fight for. Something has to change for the good.




    Just like everyone else, I want justice and truth to prevail. If the Ampatuans are guilty, then they must be sentenced accordingly. But prove them guilty first.


    Personally, I don’t have the required confidence and trust in the current government in order to believe that justice will indeed be met. I wish I did. This is why I believe that our decision of whom to put as Head of our country during the 2010 elections is crucial, because only with a change in the current government and its corrupt system can I believe that justice will be met.

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    Joanna Alonzo is a walking paradox. She is a beautiful, albeit messy, mixture of thought and emotion, expressed in the form of hopefully readable – and relatable – stories. She is a kingdom kid, who looks forward to being a writer and storyteller even when she reaches heaven. She is passionate about the unreached, about those who have yet to know the Love she found in the arms of the Almighty. She is intrigued by the world and its people, who day by day, continue to convince her that God is the greatest Storyteller of all.
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19 Comments on "Possibilities, Notions, Conspiracies: The Maguindanao Massacre"

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The Ampatuans became the ready suspects because I think I heard it somewhere that they had a history of resorting to violence to get what they want. It is unfair to punish anyone on that basis but judging by the lack of solid evidence then we (as people not judges) will just have to take the victims' word for it.

You do think it's the Ampatuans right?


Sadly, yes. They are entitled to the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty.

If it is already a known fact that they resort to violence to get what they want, how come the government didn't do anything about it back then?

*Grabe… umiinit ang dugo ko…*


I really don't know… I've never heard about the Ampatuans until this happened.


excuse me, pakitagalog! Nag tatalsikan ang dugo sa lahat ng butas sa katawan ko hihihihi


@jepoy: wahaha… hirap kaya i-tagalog ng “tragic slaughter of innocents in Maguindanao”. Try mo nga…


“they resort to violence to get what they want, how come the government didn't do anything about it back then?” (sorry I was reading the other comments. I hope you don't mind. 🙂 )

— The Ampatuans are allies and supporters of GMA. They helped her win in the elections with a landslide success. All of GMA's opponents got Zero, which is not possible statistically speaking.

“I've heard someone say that – as with any clan war, it's an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth – the Mangudadatus are sure to retaliate – especially if justice isn't served. Wouldn't that only mean more bloodshed? Senseless”

— True, senseless for us. But that is usually the only way that justice is served to them. This, in my opinion, would end if justice is strictly practiced in the country.

On the Martial Law thing, that didn't quite touch my thinking. But it is a possibility.

“This isn't the time to sit back and watch in apathy. This isn't the time to foster an “if I'm ok, everything's ok” attitude. There is a cause to fight for. Something has to change for the good.”

— Yes, indeed. I hope beyond our words, there can be actual justice for what had happened.


@geek : nope… i don't mind at all 🙂

– Yeah, I heard about the zero vote, and yes. It's impossible. I'm wondering why it didn't get more media coverage. Perhaps I wasn't paying too much attention to news back then. It's just… I dunno… grr…

– Sadly, I agree with you. When justice isn't rightfully served, people will have the tendency to place it in their own hands.

– The martial law thing is a conspiracy theory. It's sad that we both have enough distrust of the current government to allow ourselves to believe in its possibility.

– I couldn't agree more.


Nicely done, Jo! I couldn't possibly add more.


Come on… Really? No conspiracy theories brewing in that brain of yours?


Nothing really, that you haven't mentioned that is.

Honestly, I have grown distasteful of the news being on every channel, on every paper, and the chatter while I am having my meals.

All I want right now is peace – for the victims, for the perpetrators (may they find peace aka repentance and/in the solitude of a jail cell), and the nation for all the chatter worth of that tragedy.


Too bad peace will never achieved until justice is met – that's why there's so much clamor for justice regarding this tragedy.

I, for one, don't want all the buzz about it to die down… not until justice really is served.

Once the buzz dies down, people tend to forget… off the top of my mind, I could only liken it to Nida Blanca's case… what ever happened to that?

I don't want this bloodbath to go down in history as one of our country's “unsolved” cases, gaining dust in the confines of our minds as a mere memory – a miserable one at that.


@Jo: Hah! You wish!

Whatever happened to Ninoy's assasination? Among many other cases left unsolved.

The Marcos' unexplainable wealth case? The current regime's scams?

C'mon. We don't need new leaders to improve the nation, we need a new system and a firm yet gentle hand to implement the new system.


And how do you propose a new system be achieved without a change in leadership?

Only when a leader worth following starts changing (in our case overhauling) the system can a firm yet gentle hand implement it.

All this “Ako Mismo” hoola-baloo asks us to point to ourselves and ask ourselves what we can do to improve the nation. But seriously, what is there for us to do?

The masses are left powerless and sadly quite ignorant by the elitist and greedy administration.

We can advocate and even spark change in our own small ways, but there's only so much that that can achieve.

Choose a leader to follow and in unity, let's support him wholeheartedly in his attempts to change our corrupt system.

The dilemma for most of you is choosing the right leader.


If I were to ask, the people are more important than the government. We are the blood of the nation. The government is the brain. Without blood, brain is nothing.

The current Filipino mindset is that of which I would like to refer as “utak matsing”. We want to get as much from something with as little return as possible – and will utilize almost any method available to achieve this goal.

We usually blame poverty for this behaviour, but even the well-to-do applies this mindset.

What we need is to change this mindset to that similar to our prosperous nations. There's Singapore, Japan, and even Malaysia is slowly becoming a superpower in South-East Asia.

What we need is discipline. A leader is of no significance if the followers do not follow.

Many say that a military man should lead the country in iron grip. But some say that Martial Law is not a good thing in the least. I have not experienced Martial Law so I cannot say otherwise from those who have lived to tell the stories of its horror.

An economist cannot change the people's mindset just because of a (slightly) better lifestyle. As I have said before, even well-to-do people have this mindset.

A popular leader cannot even sway the nation for what number of followers he has. It is not the majority of the country and never will be.

We are a nation of critics, blame your grievances to the government. It's easier to do, than to strive yourself from your grievances. It's what a wily monkey would have done.

What we need is to change the people's mindset to strive as a nation, and not as an individual leaving his brothers and sisters eating his dust.


Interesting thoughts. I generally agree with you.

Still… how do you propose to change that mindset?

There are already many of us rising up with a spirit of nationalism, wanting to make a difference, longing for change in our nation. Now what?

Perhaps we could arrive at this conclusion: You say that the government is the brain and the people are the blood.


One cannot be without the other. What is blood to a corrupt brain?

It is important for the masses to support a good leader, a good government if we must function as a united people.



Blood empowers the brain. The brain leads the whole body. A corrupt brain leads the body to a corrupted path.

If the people have a better mindset, an election of a good leader will follow. And with good leaders (emphasis on the plural form), the nation will take the path to progress.

If only more people are nationalistic, disciplined and well, generally, nicer, we'll be closer to that goal.

Sadly, there is no solid and well-structured solution as of yet to improve the Filipino mindset. It will naturally dawn on us.

Humanity has a habit of radically changing when faced with a precipice. Just to cite examples in the Philippine setting: the 1990 earthquake, People Power which ended Martial Law, the typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. Maybe we need something – a big smack in the head – to make a whole nation of 70 million to realize this. Not just the capital region, not just Luzon, but the country as a whole.


Ugh… haven't we had enough smacks in the head over the past 500 years?

Seriously… when will the Philippines learn a lesson from its own history?

(ranting here…)

On a side note, you're not advocating a parliamentary government are you?


No, I am not. It is not the right time for a parliamentary system, if ever one is needed.



Good! Shifting to parliamentary would spell chaos for the Philippines… and chaos is optimistic.

The cynic would say DOOM.

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