Migrante Sectoral Party extends its deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the recent massacre in Maguindanao. Overseas Filipino Workers all over the world and their families are one with all peace-loving Filipinos in seeking justice for the victims and in calling for an end to these kinds of atrocities.
The brazenness and brutality with which the Maguindanao massacre was carried out underscores the fact that the perpetrators, the Ampatuan clan allied with the Arroyo administration, are unafraid that justice will catch up with them. This comes as no surprise.
Let us be reminded that the Arroyo administration holds the record of having the largest number of political killings and harassment, almost all the perpetrators of which have gone unpunished. President Arroyo's personal hand in crafting the vicious counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya has led to indiscriminate bombings and summary executions of civilians by the military in the countryside. In warlord strongholds such as Maguindanao, the military and police authorities are inutile in protecting the citizens and are even being used as accessories to crime. Thus, we believe that Arroyo herself is responsible for perpetuating the prevailing culture of violence and impunity, of which the Maguindanao massacre is the latest and most deeply shocking consequence.
This massacre is a wake-up call for all OFWs worldwide—it is a reminder of the economic backwardness and political violence that characterizes provinces such as Maguindanao, which they have left behind for lack of better options. Many OFWs are refugees from the ongoing war in Mindanao, fuelled by militarization and administration-backed warlordism. We are concerned that incidents such as the Maguindanao massacre will make refugees, and eventually migrant workers, out of residents gripped by overwhelming fear. Filipinos deserve a life of peace and opportunities in their own homes, a life that so far has been denied them as evidenced by ever-increasing overseas deployment.
For the Arroyo administration to prove that democracy still works and that citizens can still look forward to the dispensation of justice in the country, it must make the Ampatuan clan and local and police and military officials face the full wrath of the law. The whole OFW community is watching very closely and will erupt in protest over any indication of whitewash of the investigation or kid gloves treatment of the perpetrators.
Migrante is one with the Filipino people in grieving the deaths of the victims of the Maguindanao massacre and the slow death of the nation through fascistic rule.###