The death toll from the Mindanao election-related massacre has risen to 47 as more bodies of victims were unearthed from the massacre site Tuesday. News reporters were among the victims.
The ABS-CBN TV Patrol Tuesday evening Newscast has reported 47 deaths after 11 more bodies were recovered from the massacre site by the local police.
The massacre took place in a remote town of Datu Abdullah Sanki in Maguindanao where the wife of a town mayor along with a group of reporters and political supporters were abducted and massacred by some 100 armed men believed to be supporters of the vice-mayor's political opponent.
The convoy of the vice-mayor's wife along with local news reporters were on their way to register the candidacy of the Vice-Mayor for the gubernatorial post in the coming 2010 election when the massacre happened.
According to the AP:
Police Chief Superintendent Josefino Cataluna says 11 bodies were recovered before sundown Tuesday from a hillside grave. Eleven other victims were discovered there earlier in the day.
Soldiers and police found 24 bullet-riddled bodies Monday including those of Mangudadatu's wife Genalyn and his two sisters, the report added.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has declared a state of emergency in Magauindanao province to allow the military and police authorities to restore order in the area.
Follow-up operations to capture the armed men who staged the massacre are ongoing.