[photo from the Facebook page for the Online Vigil for the Victims of the Maguindanao Massacre]
As if the country hasn’t been through so much in the months leading to Christmas, on Saturday Malacañang issued Proclamation 1959 declaring Martial Law in the Province of Maguindanao. Their basis: rebellion.
Who is rebelling against who? Aren’t the Ampatuans in power, and in fact in liege with the President? I don’t think they’re rebelling against anyone. They have their own army, yes. They have a reported 2000-strong militia at their disposal, but they’ve been laying low since the events of November 23rd. Many don’t see the need for martial rule, specially since slow as it may have been, arrests are already happening and weapons have been seized.
It is not surprising that in a search done in the elder Ampatuan’s residence today, they found his bank-size vault empty. It was locked, but was found to contain NOTHING at all once it was unlocked. What would a vault be for if it would be kept empty? Looks to me like it was cleaned out recently. Then there are reports that some suspected to be involved in the massacre are hiding out in Metro Manila. O-K. So they flew all the way to Manila to hideout. Then the courts have ruled to transfer the hearing for the cases to Quezon City, miles and miles away from the court which would have had jurisdiction over the issue.
So what’s next? Will they expand Martial Law to include Metro Manila?