Saturday, December 26, 2009


"A life lived with integrity even if it lacks the trappings of fame and fortune is a shining star in whose light others may follow in the years to come."

“There is a transcendent power in example. We reform others unconsciously when we walk uprightly.”

"In other words, when we realize that everything we do matters, that every choice we make has consequences, we see ourselves rightly as stars linked in a constellation of community. We discover what it might mean and what it might take to act with integrity...Be something like a star--whole and radiant and linked to other stars--within the shimmering and glorious contellation of community."

Being an influential person requires staying on your toes all the time. As a person known to the community everyone knows you, so, when you missteps then everyone knows all the details whether they are fact or fiction. A lot of talk will be going around and your actions will determine the end result. Your status as a role model will be affected in good and bad ways. The people who looked up to you will be upset and frustrated when you have not live up to their expectation. Remember, at every word, at every act, a reputation dies.

Being able to share your experiences with others in order to help, encourage, and motivate them is an opportunity, a privilege and honor that few have. Even if it's to one person or many people to guide them in a different direction than they're going right now. To change a persons mind in a way that they don't have to go through the same hardships and struggles you did to learn things the hard way is our greatest gift to others.

You know about life. You know what works and what doesn't. You know the mistakes you've made and what you've learned from them. You have experience. You have skills. Many times, what we take for granted is a big deal to someone else.

Lou Holtz, the famous football coach said, "When I die, my accomplishments will eventually be forgotten. But what I've invested in my players will continue to live on." The best legacy is not what we leave for people. It's what we leave in people. We all have things that we've learned: skills, talents, life experiences, wisdom. You have a wealth of knowledge that God has entrusted you with. You are not supposed to keep that to yourself. You should be passing that on to somebody else. We have a responsibility to transfer what we know to the next generation.

You and I have an opportunity to leave a mark that cannot be erased. Yes, eventually we're all going to die, but when you invest in somebody else, you will continue to live on. Your life can have influence for generations to come if you will take time to invest in people.

"Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know that man is here for the sake of other men."

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Manny ‘the Pacman’ Pacquiao, a sensational athelete’s fan and the boxing superstar thus far.

Once upon a time, he was a street urchin, he was a goner dressed in filthy rags. But for the natural gift and a fierce dedication to match, Manny Pacquiao has risen to become a modern day icon for the Filipinos in the Philippines and to the entire people world wide.

Prudence at 2 years

and 4 months

Even my youngest child Prudence, at two years and six months, is an avid fan of the ‘Pacman’. He can identify the Pacman in pictures or in television. When the ring announcer declares his name in the ring—Mannnnnyyyyy Pacmaaaaannnnn, Prudence will finish the declaration--- Pacquiiaaaooo. Prudence has his punching bag and he is more than willing to display his punching sequence ala Pacquiao when prodded to.

Yesterday, December 17, 2009, Thursday was Pacquiao’s birthday and he turned thirty one (31) years old as he capped off his landmark year with a grand birthday bash at the KCC Convention Center in General Santos City. The celebration was very elaborate befitting a king. An estimated 2,000 people attended.

Like his past birthdays, there was a Raffle too but this time however, Manny was raffling off something bigger – a brand new unit of TOYOTA VIOS costing almost a million pesos.

Manny Pacquiao has everything now. To say that he has billions of pesos in cash; thousands of hectares of landholdings; commercial buildings, mansions in his hometown in General Santos; another in Laguna Province; and another in Manila, Philippines, are still a understatement.

For him, how beautiful the world is from above. “A sea of flowers as far as the eye could see filled the air with petals and the scent of spring. The skies were tinged with the soft orange of dawn; a cloudless beginning for the day. The single cliff he stood upon was high enough to look at the valley in wonder and feel the chilly, morning breeze that came from below. The sun woke up on the horizon, filling the world slowly with its light and then – later, its warmth. A flying 'V' of ducks crossed the sky overhead, heading home. This and more made such a fantastical image that he had to hold his breath”, whew!!! Surely, such measure of success only existed in fairy tales and wildest dreams for us, but for Manny ‘the Pacman’ Pacquiao, it’s vivid and real. Surely.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


ABS-CBN reporter Anthony Taberna with abdul

This is a story that catches you in the throat like a sob. . It's about time, "old cold time, old sorrow, settling down in layers like silt in a pond".

ABS-CBN News revealed yesterday December 16, 2009, that a man who is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence came forward with "shocking" testimony of mass murders carried out by young boys in the service of the Ampatuan family.

"Abdul" (not his real name) told ABS-CBN News that he was 12 years old when he started assassinating political rivals of the Ampatuans upon orders of Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan. The first one was a councilor for Sultan Kudarat. Abdul said he had been in the family's service since he was 10. The Ampatuans funded his education from 4th grade to 3rd year high school.

“I was allowed to enter the councilor's house. I waited for him to come home. When he came home, that's when I would kill him. But I had companions. I was the only one who entered the house. I was in my school uniform. I would go in and out of places, no one would stop me.” He said.

As a child assassin for the Ampatuans, Abdul said he killed no less than 100 people.

Abdul said he and 30 other young boys had been brought to a training camp in the mountains of South Upi municipality in Maguindanao, around 32 miles southeast of Sultan Kudarat.

Photo from

He claimed they were trained by Palestinians and Indonesians in combat tactics.

“We were trained like soldiers. Everything was there, like how to hold a gun, how to aim a gun and how to shoot a person," Abdul said.

From then on, Abdul said, murder became a normal routine. He alleged that he carried out kill orders without question and without knowing whether the victims had done anything wrong. “They would face us all and talk to us. Anyone who would question would be killed," he said.

Abdul, now in his late 20s, is currently in the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Jail on charges of murder. He has been incarcerated for 10 years. He is serving a 15-year sentence. He said he decided to come forward with his story after he "could not sleep since his conscience was bothering him." He was also said to have harbored ill feelings for the Ampatuan family for not helping him resolve the murder charges against him.

Asked who among the Ampatuans gave him orders, Abdul claimed it was ARMM Gov. Ampatuan who was then a mayor of Shariff Aguak town.

“He didn't order me directly. Zaldy's aide would," he said.

The last time he had spoken to the Ampatuans, Abdul told ABS-CBN News, was in 2003. Before that, he claimed the Ampatuans would sometimes break him out of jail to carry out murders.

In one instance, Abdul said he was sneaked out of jail to ambush another group of Ampatuan's political enemies.

Abdul said he shot and killed 3 victims right at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) headquarters in Intramuros, Manila on November 2, 2002. This time, it was Atty. Felix Lidasan and his cousin Armando Macapeges, along with the latter's brother Jamal Macapeges.

“There were 3 of them. I even had to chase them. The two were dead on the spot. The other one died at the hospital," he said.

The assassination incident had been confirmed by police authorities and the Commission on Election (COMELEC) that there was indeed such an incident. Lidasan and Macapages were at the Comelec to follow-up an electoral protest against Matanog mayor Nasser Imam, an in-law of current Shariff Aguak Mayor Anwar Ampatuan.

Abdul claimed Zaldy (ARMM Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan) was present at the time of the murders.

Zaldy, Anwar, family patriarch Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his son Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. were recently arrested over the heinous murder of 57 civilians including 2 lawyers and 36 journalists in Ampatuan town.

Among his numerous exploits as a hired assassin, Abdul said he could not forget the massacre of his town mates who refused to give up their land to the Ampatuans. The powerful Ampatuan clan controlled the political and economic powers in Maguindanao and its adjacent areas.

“We would burn their houses. Children and the elderly were not spared. No one could escape. We would do it at night," Abdul said.

In many of the murders, Abdul claimed he was accompanied by a certain "Major Mukamad," who is allegedly Chief Inspector Saudi Mukamad, leader of the 1057th Police Provincial Mobile Group, a police combat group.

Mukamad was now implicated by witnesses as one of the perpetrators of the Ampatuan town massacre, according to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG). He has been relieved from his post. .

There have been many reports of insurgents or terrorist groups using child soldiers in combat. However, the alleged use of child assassins by Philippine warlords came as a surprise to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). CHR Chair Leila de Lima, meanwhile, wants a full investigation into the matter.

"If this is true, if it is a reality in that part of the country, then this surely warrants further investigation," she said.

"This is shocking. This is really unbelivable. I mean, the Ampatuan town massacre is already unbelievable. What [Abdul] is revealing is like a movie," de Lima added.

God! What does the Philippines have anymore? The entire new generation is going down. It is impossible the Philippines would improve or return to its former shape and tranquility. Of course, this country is destroyed! We have nothing to see except death, bombs, warplanes, helicopters, dead and wounded bodies, shootings, beheadings etc… It has been nine years since the Arroyo regime started. Therefore, it has been nine years of their governance, seeing all of these things in front of their eyes. It’s been nine years of complete failure of the Filipino politicians to sit down and see how grave the danger surrounding us has become. It has been nine years of concentrating on who gets more, and who prays for God. It’s been nine damned years and all Filipinos could see is nothing but collapse, segregation, hatred, and blast walls surrounding their once opened neighborhoods.

In the Philippines, the danger is deeper and bigger than our illusions. I have lamented the fact that the traditional political leaders had shown and will continue on and on to ignore the crisis situation which is now stratospheric as if like a bubble about to burst. With a society that is "tossed to and fro as the waves on the ocean", our country becomes disturbingly easy to degenerate into something called a lynch mob. Does no one know what kind of country we have now and will soon become if we will not come to our right senses?

Friday, December 11, 2009


The Province of Maguindanao is one of the poorest provinces in the Philippines. But the Ampatuans who ruled as kings since 2001 have 26 mansions, many businesses and cash of about three (3) billion pesos. Each of these mansions has its own bank vault where money and firearms are stock as they prefer cash than bank accounts.

Their riches are shocking considering that Maguindanao is the third poorest province in the country according to the National Statistics and Coordination Board. It has a collapsed educational system that only 39.7 percent of adults in Maguindanao have six years of basic education. The vast majority of those are impoverished, illiterate people who are battling with what to eat for the day.

In Maguindanao alone, the Ampatuans have seven (7) mansions; in Davao City, fourteen (14) mansions; in Sultan Kudarat, three (3) mansions; and in Manila, two (2) mansions.

We are not willing, for one, to see the government which we formed and established placed in this anti-social, if not belligerent, attitude towards the sovereign people. We are not willing that these abusive public officials should exhibit such a spectacle of inequality and oppression on us, their master, and they, the servants, not the other way around as their corrupted and sin-blinded minds are leading us to confusion. It is about time we anchor their tragic souls firmly in their right places.

We are afraid to make them mad so we temper our words by calling these blatant liars nice polite things as Honourables. Our fear had sunk in deeper like the ocean floor. This time the people must assert and insist for these abusive public officials to cease and desist, effective immediately, from committing acts and assuming powers outside the mandate of the law.

Circumstances showing default of public service by these public officials are in publications- they steal, they lie, they break our will, sold and trampled our rights and freedom, and they manipulate us like a bull, attaching an emotional nose ring on us through fear so they can easily lead us around-- exploit us with the pretext of duty; and he who does not take them into consideration is not erroneous, but mad, metaphysically mad. A concerned citizen, never losing sight of principles, is to be guided by circumstances; and judging contrary to the exigencies of the moment, may ruin his country for ever.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Even if maintaining private armies is cast in stone and barred by the impregnable wall of the Philippine Law and the Constitution, but according to the military report which got into the hands of the abs-cbn news on December 8, 2009, there are seventy three (73) partisan armed groups (PAGs) that are being maintained and under the control of several big politicians throughout the country. Forty two (42) of these are in the Province of Maguindanao: nine (9) are with the Ampatuans’ clan particularly the Patriarch governor of the Province of Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan, Sr., Sarrif Aguak Mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr., and the governor of the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan. They have a total of Two Thousand Four Hundred (2,400) active forces.

Gubernatorial candidate and Vice Mayor Ismael Mangudadatu
in a striped shirt, waves to the crowd after filing his certificate
of candidacy for governor. It was his wife and relatives together with 36 journalists who were killed in the Maguindanao Massacre on
November23, 2009. Photo from google image search

ARMM Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan with Pres. Arroyo.

Photo from google image search

The Mangudadatus’ clan, on the other hand, who are the political rival of the Ampatuans and whose wife and relatives, together with the thirty six (36) journalists who were brutally massacred on November 23, 2009 by the Ampatuans, have 250 men.

Sulu Provincial Governor Sakur Tan, on extreme left

Sulu 2nd District Cong Munir Arbison in white polo.
Photo from google image search

Lanao del Sur Balindong
Photo from google image search

Mayor Cherry Lyn Akbar, the widow of slain Congressman
Wahab Akbar, touches her husband's coffin during his
burial at Isabela, the capital of the island province of
Basilan in the southern Philippines
Photo from google image search

Basilan Salapuddin
Photo from google image search

Basilan Hataman
Photo from google image search

In the Province of Sulu, Gov. Sakur Tan have 2,700 active forces in his private armies, while Cong. Munir Erbison have 2,500. In Lanao del Norte, the Dimaporos have also undetermined number of private armies. In Lanao del Sur, the Balindongs also have their own private armies. In Basilan, the widow of Wahar Akbhar, have her private armies also. Likewise, the Salapuddin and the Hataman have also private armies.

All these partisan armed groups (PAGs) have been organized legally as civilian volunteers (CVOs), and civilian armed forces geographical units (CAFGUs) which are supposedly under the command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). This was made possible in July 2006, when President Arroyo issued Executive Order 546, allowing local officials and the PNP to deputize barangay tanods as “force multipliers" in the fight against insurgents. But in reality, the EO 546 allows local officials to convert their private armed armies into legal entities with a fancy name: civilian volunteer organizations (CVOs).

Lanao Del Norte Governor Mohammad Khalid Q Dimaporo and

2nd District Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo. (Exequiel Supera NIB-OPS Photo)

According to University of the Philippines (UP) Political Science Professor Roland Simbulan, where there are insurgency problem in that area, it is where there are armed groups that are being supplied with arms by the government. They are use to fight the insurgents. And the fact is, these armed men are given salaries and allowances by the government with the peoples’ taxes.

However, the reality is that these PAGs are being used by the big politicians as their private armies and the government is playing blind and dumb about this. The AFP admitted that in the case of the Ampatuans, they were supplied CAFGU units to fight the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Department of National Defense and
National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales

Corollarily, on his part, the Secretary of the Department of National Defense and concurrent National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales says, that the estimated number of armed groups throughout the country is now 132, and they are possessing around 1 million unlicensed firearms, most of them in Mindanao.

Indeed, they lost track of it anymore but the bottom line is that, these PAGs are under the command of the AFP, they feed them, let them grow, given salaries and allowances, and cuddled them. With these armed groups sprouting all over the country under the tutelage of the AFP, there’s sufficient reason the people in this country have to be suspicious and wary about.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Top Photo is the President of the Republic of the Philippines
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and to her left is Vice President
Noli de Castro. Photo from

Bottom Photo is the Governor of the Autonomous Region for
Muslim Mindanao Zaldy Ampatuan who is one of the masterminds
of the Maguindanao Massacre. Photo from

We all share the outrage of the Maguindanao Massacre. But to set aside the basic and fundamental rights of the citizens there by imposing Martial Law is another story.

Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides:

The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law. (Emphasis supplied)

Under Title 3, Chapter One of the Philippine Revised Penal Code, rebellion is classified under Crimes against Public Order. Rebellion is defined under our jurisdiction as:

Art. 134. Rebellion or insurrection; How committed. — The crime of rebellion or insurrection is committed by rising publicly and taking arms against the Government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to said Government or its laws, the territory of the Philippine Islands or any part thereof, of any body of land, naval or other armed forces, depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature, wholly or partially, of any of their powers or prerogatives. (Emphasis supplied)

Is there such scenario in Maguindanao? Did the Ampatuans occupied a territory of the Republic of the Philippines through arms? Did the Ampatuans even cause the disruption of the functions of the Chief Executive or the Legislature even of Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanano (ARMM) through armed public uprising? The answer is a resounding NO.

Contrariwise, prior to the commission of the election-related brutal and hideous massacre in Maguindanao on November 23, 2009, where 57 innocent, unarmed and defenseless people including 36 journalists were mercilessly annihilated in an instant, the Ampatuans, who were tagged as the principal suspects, were, had been, and are personally very close to President Gloria M. Arroyo. They are the trusted political ally, and the forceful conduit in helping ensure Madam Arroyo’s victory over the whole of Mindanao, literally, with all the votes going everything for the administration versus practically nothing but mere residues for the opposing candidates.

In return, President Arroyo made the Ampatuans the king of kings and warlords of all gods: quartering them in a pedestal in Maguindanao, literally, with 23 mansions in Maguindanao Province and Davao City, amassing riches and wealth lying idle in their hands as they suffocate the people with all that crisis of suffering and alarm only they had created. You-- entrench it behind a frowning fortification—-surround it with battlements, and lay the Province of Maguindano, far and near, under contribution for the support of this garrison of office-holders. Desolation and oppression are without, while the tenants of the citadel are reveling in luxury and profusion within.

Photos of inside and outside of one of the 23 Mansions
of the Patriarch Governor Andal Ampatuan, Sr.

Firearms cache dug up near the residence of Patriarch Gov. Andal Ampatuan.Photo from

Another firearms dug up. Photo from

Now, with such closeness, a kind of spiritual umbilical cord, how could anyone carelessly ascribe the Ampatuans to rebel against the President?

The high powered firearms, assault rifles, submachine guns, armored vehicles and ammunitions were supplied by the Department of National Defense and the Philippine National Police. Consequently, it is the government itself that should be blamed for it.

And the irony of it all is that it is no less than President Arroyo who uttered it, and made the basis for imposing Martial Law in Maguindanao, the very person who pampered the Ampatuans in a manner likened to that of a magkal (a humungous boa constrictor, which girth is about twice the size as the trunk of a large tree) to his trabungko (a magnificent gem believe to be the source of its immortality) that it carries on its head.

Therefore, the basis for the imposition of Martial Law in Maguindanao, sad to say, did not meet the requirements required under the Philippine Constitution.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


My present picture at the age of 58

My pictures when I was with the JAGS (Judge Advocate General's Service)
in 1979 to middle part of 1982

The alleged purpose of Proclamation 1959, declaring the Province of Maguindanao under Martial Law, is the arrest of the Ampatuan family members who are implicated in the November 23 Ampatuan, Maguindanao massacre. The regime justifies the declaration in saying, among others, that civilian institutions, especially the courts, are no longer functioning because judges and court personnel were overcome with fear; and that the dispensation of justice would not be possible.

Likewise, Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera in an interview after the proclamation of Martial Law in Maguindanao Province said, among others, government services ceased due to the presence of heavily armed men. "This complexion is no longer what motivated the Ampatuans commit the massacre and now it's of a different political complexion ... It was a looming and in fact it was already practically an overthrow of government. Even the courts were not functioning in Maguindanao."

In this connection, may I volunteer and apply to the President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for the position as a Judge of the Regional Trial Court for Maguindanao to be the one to hear and decide all cases that were filed and to be filed against the Ampatuans in connection with the Maguindanao massacre on November 23, 2009. I am Abeto A. Salcedo, Jr., and I am the acting Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (RARAD) of the DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB) in CARAGA Region. I have been an Adjudicator of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) since 1991, or for almost twenty (20) years now. Hereunder is my biodata:



AGE : 58 years old

BIRTHDAY : September 30, 1951

BIRTH PLACE : Salay, Misamis Oriental

ADDRESS : #230, Purok 3, River Side, Tablon, Cag. De Oro City


GRADE SCHOOL : Graduated 1964, Xavier University

HIGH SCHOOL : Graduated 1968, Xavier University

AB-PRE LAW : Graduated 1972, Xavier University

LLB : Graduated 1976, Xavier University

PASSED THE BAR : 1977 in the first taking


PRIVATE PRACTICE – 1977 to 1979, 1982 to 1987, 1988 to 1990

AFP, JAGO (JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL’S OFFICE) – October 29, 1979 to April 1982


Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) – 1991 to 2005

OIC Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (RARAD)- 2005 to the present


CIVIL STATUS - Married to Corazon B. delos Reyes

CHILDREN - Vanesa 14; Mars, 12; Star, 9; and Prudence, 2

SIBLINGS - Leo, Emilie, Oscar


B-10, Manila Bulletin, Monday October 6, 2008

With my training and experiences as a JAGO officer Philippine Constabulary (now PNP), as an Asst. City Fiscal in Cagayan de Oro, and as a judge/adjudicator in the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), and with a track record as the consistent number 1 Provincial Adjudicator, and Regional Adjudicator since 2003 to the present, I sincerely believe that I can render impartial justice to the parties with a blind eye and with dispatch if I will be appointed even in a temporary capacity for the duration of the Ampatuans' cases until they are all decided and terminated.


Governor Andal Ampatuan, Sr., in long sleeve;
and ARMM Governor Andal 'Zaldy' Ampatuan beside him

Photo from

The monster warlord Ampatuans are being stripped of their power by the Arroyo government slowly but surely. The government of President Arroyo is now determined to cripple and paralyze the monster warlord it has created.

In the days of the Ampatuans’ high adventure, the grass smelled sweet with the spring wind. Once upon a time, their names echoed with fear all over the nation because they are the king of kings that possess the enigma of invulnerability. Their domains once glittered like the light on a windy sea.

The Ampatuans sudden astronomical rise to power in Maguindanao from 2001 occasioned much disbelief that they of all things should ascend to such a stature. This surprise is, in retrospect, surprising. Popular culture and politics are both in some measure dependent on projecting messages that mass audiences want, and the communications abilities of the Patriach Andal Ampatuan, Sr. and President Gloria M. Arroyo are more similar than either might wish to acknowledge.

But remember, no matter who you are, no matter how invincible you might think you are, there comes a time, when your jewels cease to sparkle, when the glitters of your gold loses its luster, when your throne room becomes a prison, and all that is left are the tears in your eyes as you cry ‘God why have you forsaken me’.

The Ampatuans are now in grief. President Arroyo took back their power: they are now being expelled from the Lakas-Kampi political party of President Arroyo. They are also in the hold departure list as ordered by the Department of Justice; they are under house arrest as their residences in Maguindanao were surrounded by police and military forces that no one can get in and those who are inside cannot get out without the clearance issued by the authorities; their bodyguards and private armies were dismantled and their modern assault firearms and heavy artillery and ammos which could annihilate one army brigade have been located and in possession of the military; the warrants for their arrest will be issued anytime soon; Martial Law have been declared in Maguindanao Province; and that the Ampatuans’ bank accounts had been ordered frozen.

Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera said witnesses had implicated Ampatuan’s father, Maguindanao Gov. Datu Andal Ampatuan, his brother and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan; and relatives Akmad, Saudi Jr., Bahnarian Jr., Sajid Islam, and Akmad Tato in the gruesome massacre. (Manila Standard Today, Saturday-Sunday, November 28-29, 2009.)

It is vivid in the Ampatuans’ memory that once upon a time when Arroyo was in search for somebody for her to become impregnable in politics like a steel, when steel meant more to her than gold or jewels. Yes, you know what it is. It was the Ampatuans who provided her with that steel of invincibility as the votes of the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) always spills the difference between victory and defeat for President Arroyo.

Ampatuans, you have come to the turning point of your lives. For who would save you now if not yourselves? You are the well spring, from which you flow. Without you, Gloria Arroyo will have never been. What would your world be, if you cannot do anything to save you and your clan?

You have never prayed before like now. But you have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if you were good even for once. You will be remembered as the evilest of evil. Why you should not fight but only wait to die? All that matters is that it is now your entire family who would now stand against the many. You are now fighting for your life. You can come back from the darkness. Back from the pit of hell to fight all of them if you decide to fight, not with guns and armies, but the secret you know about the election in 2004 and 2007.

And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you! It is you who know why they fear the night.

Oh, I change my mind, forget it. Please do not expose the ‘secret’ anymore, please. Otherwise, if you do, the President might declare Martial Law not only in Maguindanao, but to the entire country. That’s for sure. You see, the declaration of Martial Law in Maguindanao is testing the waters how the people will react. You see, it is always best to evaluate before committing to a new course of action.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Photo from

Luis ‘Chavit’ Singson, a political kingpin and warlord in Ilocos Sur Province and had served as Governor for twenty-eight (28) years, became a very close personal friend and trusted political ally when Joseph Ejercito ‘Erap’ Estrada became President of the Republic of the Philippines in 1998. But their friendship suddenly turned into sour and Governor Singson was hearing warnings from their common friends that President Estrada was going to have him ambushed and assassinated by military men under his orders.

On October 16, 2000, as Singson was on his way home at about twelve (12:00) o’clock midnight, a vehicle of the Presidential Security Group suddenly block his way. He did not come out when ordered and called his friends through his cellphone to rescue him. His friends immediately responded and came over with policemen and media men. Then and there, he proclaimed to the media he was subjected to assassination attempt because he knew too much about the involvement of President Estrada in the illegal numbers game called Jueting. His expose’ spread like wildfire. This started the historical privilege speech of former Senator Teopisto Guingona in the Senate hall leading to the impeachment proceeding against former President Estrada that resulted to his force resignation from his Presidency through the massive protest rallies by the Filipino people throughout the country.

This time, due to the gruesome Massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao Province including 36 journalists where Mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr. was positively identified as the mastermind, the father, Governor Andal Ampatuan, Sr., also the political kingpin and warlord of the Maguindanao Province who is personally very close to President Gloria M. Arroyo and the trusted political ally, together with his children and relatives are now being expelled from the Lakas-Kampi political party of President Arroyo. They are also in the hold departure list as ordered by the Department of Justice; their residences in Maguindanao were surrounded by police and military forces that no one can get out and enter without the clearance issued by authorities; their bodyguards and private armies were dismantled and their firearms are being located for confiscation because what they surrendered were vintage firearms; they are also implicated to the massacre and they believe they are being pinned down; and that they are now crying against the supposed ‘cruel injustice’ done against them.

Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera said witnesses had implicated Ampatuan’s father, Maguindanao Gov. Datu Andal Ampatuan, his brother and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan; and relatives Akmad, Saudi Jr., Bahnarian Jr., Sajid Islam, and Akmad Tato in the gruesome massacre. (Manila Standard Today, Saturday-Sunday, November 28-29, 2009.)

However, like former Gov. Singson, the Ampatuans have also ace cards against Pres. Arroyo that they keep very close to their chest which could also topple her from power. They were the ones responsible for insuring the victory of President Arroyo in the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in 2004 presidential election where her closest rival, the late Fernando Poe, Jr. got zero in most precincts, which was perceived as statistically improbable, if not impossible. Also in the 2007 Senatorial Election, the Ampatuans had delivered a 12-0 victory in favor of the administration candidates with a highly improbable, if not, impossible margin.

How did they do it; who ordered them what to do; and finally, who were the people that executed the fraud and the cheating, are the ace cards like the Pandora’s box they could now open to unearth the holy grail which the people of this nation have been painstakingly waiting to be revealed at any time.

If the Ampatuans cannot contain anymore their perceived innumerable suppression, cruelty and oppression which they are subjected and they cannot bear them anymore, they may have no other choice but to spill the beans like what Governor Luis ‘Chavit’ Singson did to former President Estrada.

Naturally, if you are already pushed to the wall and there seems to be no way out, you have to fight back against the one in charge of those forces (the President) causing you the pest with your formidable weapon—squeal everything you knew against her. If she is pestering you, you might as well fight back. It takes two to play the game.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


If you do something for me that I cannot do for myself, I will do something for you that you cannot do for yourself. You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours. This mutual covenant between the President of the Philippines Gloria M. Arroyo and the Ampatuans had started what the Ampatuans have now become—the Maguindanao’s law of the jungle. And whosoever shall keep it may prosper, but whosoever that shall break shall die. For the strength of one is the other and vice versa.

President Arroyo needed somebody to control the votes in Mindanao, and Governor Andal Ampatuan, Sr., with his four wives and over 30 children, and intermarriages with other political clans, the President instinctively knew he must be the right pick as the chosen one to make her political future in the entire Mindanao secure.

Governor Andal Ampatuan, Sr., in long sleeve;
and ARMM Governor Andal 'Zaldy' Ampatuan beside him

The Ampatuans begun to rise from nobody to over everybody as soon as Madam Gloria M. Arroyo became President in 2001. Then and there, the family members and relatives started to hold over key government positions, elective and appointive, in the national and local level. This early, the Maguindanao residents know that only one family wields real power in Maguindanao: the Ampatuans, led by its acknowledged patriarch, Governor Andal Ampatuan, Sr.

In 2005, one of the elder son Andal ‘Zaldy’ Ampatuan, at 38 years old, became the governor of the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the youngest ever to head the regional government. He took more than 90 percent of the votes among several candidates. But nevertheless his election was subject to questions of impropriety as was believed to be less than credible and honest raising quizzical eyebrows.

With guns and the blessings of President Arroyo, the Ampatuans seem to be digging in for the long haul.

To tighten their grip on power, President Arroyo made it legal for the Ampatuans to have hundreds of armed men and women under their employ who as thralldoms, will ready to die for the Ampatuans.

But the 1987 Constitution bans private armed groups. No problem, in the Philippines Madam Arroyo is the law, thus, in July 2006, the Arroyo administration issued Executive Order 546, allowing local officials and the PNP to deputize barangay tanods as “force multipliers" in the fight against insurgents. In practice, the EO allows local officials to convert their private armed groups into legal entities with a fancy name: civilian volunteer organizations (CVOs).

And whenever the Ampatuans travels about a hundred bodyguards board the back of spiffy pickups that are staples of Ampatuan convoys; and these CVO members typically lug long automatic assault firearms. The convoys of 20 vehicles or more always begin and end with pickups mounted with big machine guns. With the Ampatuans chronic show of force, the residents would rather not do anything to stand in the way of the Ampatuans.

To return the favor President Arroyo has been extending to them, every election the Ampatuans became the forceful conduit in helping ensure Madam Arroyo’s victory over the whole of Mindanao, literally with all the votes going everything for the administration versus nothing but mere splatters for the opposing candidates.

THE Maguindanao capitol [photo by Jaileen Jimeno]

AMPATUAN house [photo by Jaileen Jimeno]

But inspite of their influence and money, inspite of their mansions that dot the landscape, inspite of their towering stature as the gods and the law, the Maguindanao sank into economic doldrums and poverty and is the third poorest province in the country. It has a collapsed educational system that only 39.7 percent of adults in Maguindanao have six years of basic education. The vast majority of those are impoverished, illiterate people who are battling with what to eat for the day.

Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., the principal suspect of the hideously gruesome massacre in Maguindanao Province where on November 23, 2009, fifty seven (57) people, including thirty six (36) journalists were killed instantly in one setting.

Photo from

With the Maguindanao massacre on November 23, 2009, the government could not believe how a single clan managed to build up that army, whose firepower is just now being exposed to public scrutiny. This clearly illustrates the failure of the national government to enforce the law in the autonomous region. Military forces now deployed throughout the ARMM following the declaration of a state of emergency have found armored vehicles, each mounted with two .50 caliber machine guns, that do not belong to either the military or police. Authorities said the vehicles appeared to have been locally assembled. How can an armored vehicle assembly plant operate under the radar of the government? If those vehicles were not locally manufactured, how were they brought in? Were the Ampatuans authorized to obtain armored vehicles from abroad?

Authorities reported disarming over 300 members of the Ampatuans’ private army, but the weapons confiscated were government-issued, most of them reportedly very old. How many unlicensed weapons, including machine guns and the M60 submachine guns reportedly used in the massacre, are in the Ampatuan arsenal?

If you rationalize carefully, President Arroyo with her government are just too careful in handling the case of the Ampatuan family. The saying “best friends can be worst enemy” is the sword of Damocles ready to fall on them at any time.

But for me, it is just a matter of time and the scenario will be a repeat to that of former President Joseph Estrada and Governor Luis ‘Chavit’ Singson. For the benefit of my friends in foreign countries who are following my blog, Governor Singson and former President Estrada were very close friends also. Governor Singson has become the man Friday of former President Estrada to whom the latter share even his most intimate and most kept secrets. As the normal course of events would have it, their closeness turned from harmonious to sour.

In October 2000, Governor Singson laid down everything he knew about former President Estrada for the two years of their closeness, particularly the fact that he gave the former President 400 million pesos as payoff from illegal gambling profits. In a matter of two (2) months after the expose’, the latter was ousted from the Presidency by the Filipinos through protest rallies.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Photo from GMANews

This is the picture of Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., the principal suspect of the hideously gruesome massacre in Maguindanao Province where fifty seven (57) people, including thirty six (36) journalists, the wife and pregnant daughter, relatives, and supporters of Ismael "Toto" Mangudadatu, a governatorial candidate in Maguindanao, were unconscionably and mercilessly riddled with automatic assault rifles by this man and his more than one hundred (100) thralldoms.

The Ampatuan family are the political warlords and considered as the gods and the law in Maguindanao Province because they are umbilically or literally very close to the Philippine President. The principal suspect is the incumbent Mayor of the Municipality of Datu Unsay; his brother Andal “Zaldy” Ampatuan, is the incumbent Governor of the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); and their father Andal Ampatuan, Sr., is the incumbent Governor of Maguindanao Province. These people always delivered a landslide votes in favor of President Arroyo and her party every election in the Philippines, the reason she owes them immeasurable debt of gratitude then and now.

Proof to that, even the Ampatuan family had been cursedly denounced by the whole world on account of the massacre, the Philippine President through her spokesperson refused to distant herself but even shamelessly came out in radio and television that no matter how they are presently looked upon by the people in the world, they and the President of the Philippines remain as close friends and allies as ever. No wonder that the Ampatuans have been getting a kid glove treatment.

Here’s the kid glove treatment: The prime suspect was treated as VIP in the sense that the government spent millions of pesos just to show his kind of stature. Trucks and luxury cars loaded with high ranking government officials and soldiers came to the house of the Ampatuans to fetch the suspect. But he chose no other but a helicopter to ride, so, he was fetched by a helicopter yesterday, November 26, 2009 at 11:00 o’clock in the morning. He was not handcuffed, as what other suspects even in petty crimes are seen when apprehended.

Also, the weapons of the Amputuans military forces comprising eight hundred (800) were allegedly confiscated but the guns and rifles that were surrendered were old/antique weapons (Garand rifles used in WWII), rusty and dilapidated. Witnesses say they were not the kind of weapons used by the killers. Please see the photo. Photo from

The suspect’s brother Andal “Zaldy” Ampatuan, the incumbent Governor of the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); and their father Andal Ampatuan, Sr., the incumbent Governor of Maguindanao Province, were not apprehended, or at least, just invited for questioning as they are also allegedly in conspiracy, directly or indirectly, to the suspect. Remember, it was incumbent Governor Andal Ampatuan, Sr. who threatened Ismael "Toto" Mangudadatu not to file his candidacy for governor; and that the backhoe excavator used to dig and cover the cadavers of the victims and their vehicles was owned by the Maguindanao Province with the name of Governor Andal Ampatuan, Sr. scribbled in it. Likewise, the two high ranking Police Officials who were allegedly present at the scene of the crime and the militia forces who fired at the victims were under Andal “Zaldy” Ampatuan, the incumbent Governor of the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

So, what is happening here, are we that fool enough to believe what the government is doing? The government’s handling of the Ampatuan case is too appalling that to take it sitting down will be perceived by the whole world how the Filipinos are so stupid and twat that we are. In that case, we deserve the kind of government we have, in that, our President is only such for those people whom she has mutual political interest. In fact, she has cultivated a culture of impunity among them.

The government official speaking in behalf of the President, when asked a question whether the Ampatuans are untouchable, said: “No, they are not, nobody is untouchable, and I mean nobody. With the highest heinous crime they have committed, I don’t see why there are people who could still say that they are untouchable.” Do you not jeer with such an answer?

Governor Andal Ampatuan, Sr. and ARMM Governor Andal 'Zaldy' Ampatuan to the left and right of President Gloria M. Arroyo

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