Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A HAIR RAISING STORY THAT STRIKES FEAR IN EVERYONE

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 http://ivarfjeld.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/hamas-trained-120-000-children-to-become-islamic-terrorists/

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?

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