There are worse people than Andal Ampatuan Jr and they are among us

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Frankly I fail to be impressed by all the huffing and puffing about how “shocking” the massacre of 58 people is allegedly in the hands of warlord Andal Ampatuan Jr. I also fail to be impressed by the people who are grandstanding about calls for “justice” and close public scrutiny of (and the proposed televising) of the trial of the Ampatuans. Add to that, by the way, I don’t really give a rat’s arse about how many of these 58 were “journalists”. To me they were all people — period.

Let’s talk about people, shall we? Let’s put fifty eight people killed in what is essentially an election-related politically-motivated crime in its proper perspective. Election-related and politically-motivated acts, whether they are heinous crimes like these or banal acts of stupidity are endemic in Philippine society. One study laid out the following statistics over a number of Philippine election years:

1988 elections – 188 dead

1992 elections – 89 dead

1995 elections – 108 dead

1998 elections – 77 dead

2001 elections – 98 dead

In terms of absolute numbers, ignoring for a moment its ratio to the number of perpetrators involved, 58 (perhaps among other unsung victims killed in 2009) stacks up quite conservatively with our renowned collective track record of election violence. I dare say, the only thing that makes the Maguindanao massacre remarkable is that it was a large number of victims perpetrated by only one man (or one clan, as the case may be).

Then again, is 58 killed by one man or one political clan really that remarkable in the Philippine setting?

When we do a bit of thinking outside the little square framed for lesser minds by our “journalists” in the Philippine Media, we will consider how, from 1987 through to 2008, a single shipping company — Sulpicio Lines Inc (SLI) — was a common denominator underlying the preventable deaths of at least 10,000 people at sea. Let’s say for argument’s sake, that SLI employs 50 senior management personnel and that every one of them can be deemed accountable for those deaths. That’s a victim-to-perpetrator ratio of 200-to-1. It is a ratio that dwarfs Andal Ampatuan’s alleged accountability for the deaths of 58 people.

Look around for a minute and take stock of the Media buzz and ask:

Who is huffing and puffing for the Sulpicio Lines victims today?

Still impressed by all the crocodile prayers being muttered by so-called “prayerful” Filipinos in commemoration of this atrocity? Where are the prayers and where is the Media-backed “commemoration” of the victims of the negligence of Sulpicio Lines?

Victims of the Sulpicio Lines MV Doña Paz disaster of 1987

Sensational “news” should never be confused with important information. And if it is useful information we seek, it seems that no amount of the “press freedom” our society supposedly gained since 1986 helped us identify the relevant issues that determine what our calls to action should prioritise. In the same way that irresponsible property development and garbage disposal failed to make headline news — until Ondoy did it for us — warlords in Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines’ hinterlands amassed their wealth and arms under the radar — until the Maguindanao Massacre turned it to today’s talk of the town. Like everything else in the Philippines, whether it be disastrous flooding, or armed-to-the-teeth warlords, the Philippine Media — that supposed bastion of enlightenment, truth, and (get this) “information”, simply fails to lead the way in helping the public focus on what is important.

In the same way that Andal Ampatuan Jr is an individual person who oversaw the death of 58 innocent people, we are also a people of one Nation that have overseen preventable deaths numbering in the tens of thousands if not the hundreds of thousands. What we choose to focus our attention on – and what is glaringly absent from our national “debate” – is a revealing indictment of our claim to be a civilised society. The fundamental issues that underlie recurring disasters and accidents as well as chronic election violence – safety, environment, infrastructure, and security – are by themselves newsworthy in truly civilised societies. A routine focus on these issues is the hallmark of a society that truly cares about its lot.

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10 Comments on “There are worse people than Andal Ampatuan Jr and they are among us”

  1. I hope this won’t be an adding a salt to the injury for the victims of Maguindanao massacre that happened a decade ago but nowadays we don’t trust the journals anymore because of the existence of social media & the issue on their ethical works of “journalism” which is now becoming more politicized & money hungry people unlike before. Now in the case of the Maguindanao massacre, probably there’s a REAL reason why that incident had happened in the 1st place is because the Ampatuan clans are afraid to those greedy & immoral “journalists” who would become the victims of the so-called “fake news” the Pandora’s box of journalism & they will spread those kinds of lies like wildfire thru the use of traditional mainstream media & later on to the modem social media. So I don’t give a damn thing for supporting justices to the victims of the massacre if those people are doing the wrong acts of their profession. Beware of the wolves in their sheep’s clothing.

  2. I believe that all human life is precious. ..Whether, they are : Journalists, politicians, common and ordinary people, like you and me…

    However, let us debate who is the lesser evil of these murderers…the one who murdered his victims by directly shooting, them and there…Or the one who murdered their victims, by irresponsibility, incompetence, greediness , political opportunism and outright reckless behaviors.

    We have the Mamapasano massacre; where SAF soldiers were murdered; because Aquino, the suspended crook Police Chief: Purisima, and Mar Roxas; simply failed to send reinforcements to rescue these brave SAF soldiers. Are these people who are responsible in sending these SAF soldiers to their death, guilty also of murder like Andal Ampatuan ?

    We have the Luneta Chinese tourist massacre by an insane Policeman…where Aquino was nowhere to be found, to save these Chinese tourists, who became victims….Is Aquino guilty of murdering these poor Chinese tourist hostages also, like Andal Ampatuan had done to his victims ?

    We have the Typhoon Yolanda victims…countless and faceless people, had slowly suffered, and may had starved to death, or died for the lack of medicines and medical help. Aquino and Mar Roxas, stole the Typhoon Yolanda Fund, for their own political benefits. They withhold even the relief goods to be distributed to the Typhoon Yolanda victims…as a result many had died. The relief goods were kept in warehouses, until they were rotten. Is Aquino and Mar Roxas, more evil than Andal Ampatuan, who directly shot his victims ?
    To shot or to starve your victims, is the same as murdering them.

    How about Ninoy Aquino , who founded the New People’s Army. In this “communists made conflict”; many victims were murdered, shot and killed on the insurgent and government side. Is Ninoy Aquino and the people who support the NPA, are like Andal Ampatuan, who murdered people ?

    So, we have to determine, who is the lesser evil of these people…all of them made people suffer…all of them murdered and killed their victims. One, Andal Ampatuan did it directly…the others did it : indirectly, slowly and surely !

    1. After the Maguindanao Massacre “trial” case that lasted for the past 10 years, in the coming of new year in 2020, I hope the trial for Mamasapano Massacre case should pursue on the court immediately so that the families & friends of the death of PNP-SAF 44 would have justice to them against the botched anti-terrorism operation led by PNoy, ex-PNP Chief Purisima and others to brought them to jail just like the Ampatuan clans!!!

      But I have a thought on that Maguindanao Massacre issue that happened ten years ago & this is a footnote on what I’d posted it here yesterday & there are so many questions that left unanswered even the perpetrators on the case was found guilty, like why did Toto Mangdadatu hired more journalists to escort his wife & daughter to a regional office of Comelec in their home province for his filing a governatorial race for 2010 national election instead of hiring more police/military escorts to guard his family for their safety since there was a death threat against him & his family coming from the Ampatuan clans just a month before the incident had happened? Did Toto Mandadatu had no or lack of money to hire police/military escorts for their safety or did he use his money to pay those “journalists” in order to make those people to make a sensationalized news for his candidacy and those “journalists” became a sacrificial lambs for his political ambitions & adventurism just like his rival Ampatuan clans? Well, what can you expect? This is Philippine politics at its finest, no matter what a politician that we have for the past years or a century, it’s the same old S**T!!! No wonder his younger brother was lost in the election for his senatorial bet [and I admit that I voted him but I’d regret that I shouldn’t voted him in the 1st place] because some of the people in his home province, Maguindanao & probably the rest of Mindanao heard a rumor that Toto Mangdadatu had a mistress & he even have a vasts farm lands that he owned it ala Hacienda Luisita.

  3. LOL. Easy for benign0 to say while living in CUSHY Australia!

    off course he doesn’t give a f— about the murders in ph and advocates more abuses.

    GRP is a shrill for the Marcoses! dont be fooled

    1. And Rise of DarthMORON is actually a Yellow Shrill! You’re fooling yourself, son.

      You’re waiting for another banhammer? Really?

    2. While you claim that GRP all makes all sorts of baseless claims, then you made all sorts of baseless accusations.

      You need to get off your MDS (Marcos Derangement Syndrome) and take your commie/anarchistic shrilling to somewhere else.

      Next time you reply, it’s DELETION time.

  4. According to Ecology Global Network, about 151,600 individuals go to the “Great Beyond” per day. That’s a population of about 8 per 1000, which breaks down to 6,316 per hour; 105 per minute or 2 per second. (Quora)

    Most of these deaths are preventable ones – human- or self-inflicted. This is something to reflect on before diving into your “myocardial infarction” hamburger/steak this Christmas.

    Yes, 58 deaths is like “So What!” “Big Deal!?!?” – a drop in the bucket relative to Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot. Hardly even newsworthy. What’s really more appalling is why it took a decade for justice to be served. And yet even that isn’t that newsworthy too in a country where meting out justice is more of an exception rather than the rule.

    Besides what is justice, and why does it matter so much to us humans? Gazelles don’t demand justice after lions feast on one of their kind; and life simply goes on. Life is really one unfair game – one is weak, while the other is strong. We will probably sleep better just accepting the hard fact that there are sharks in the ocean, and they too deserve to swim in our ecosystem.

    The question is – are we doing enough not to be bitten by one (which is completely preventable)? So these “less fortunate” 58 probably had it coming and should take part of the blame on their fate. Like – why not travel with security escorts considering the politically hostile environment? They should at least be glad they died for a cause, unlike those senseless mass shootings so prevalent in the US.

  5. That’s the problem with the understanding of the wokes. They want you to believe only certain people are evil, only the Marcoses and Duterte are the murderers. As if there would no murders or disappeared people if Marcos never became president; no, murders and abductions would still continue. There are so many murderous people in the Philippines, and they do it as part of their efforts to hold power over others. And they are likely the ones trying to keep your attention on Marcos and Duterte, and away from themselves.

  6. A murder is different than a preventable death. Some philosophers argue that every cent we spend on anything instead of donating to charity is allowing a hungry child to die somewhere (preventable death)

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