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Bill to probe Maguindanao carnage filed

By Antonio Figueroa     Nov 25, 2009 in Politics
MANILA – Sen. Benigno Aquino III, a presidential bet running under the Liberal Party, has filed today a bill seeking an immediate resolution of Maguindanao massacre that led to the killing of scores of innocent victims.
The carnage, which took place last Nov. 23, resulted in the death of yet to be determined number of individuals, including journalists, who joined the convoy which was intercepted by some 100 armed men identified with the Ampatuan clan of Maguindanao.
Official military reports have placed the number of corpses so far recovered at 47.
But recent reports from journalists who failed to join the entourage after sensing danger estimated the number of scribes and broadcasters that was part of the convoy at “more than 30’”
Empathizing with the families of the victims, Aquino called the mayhem “cruel and inhuman,” saying the Senate should mobilize the appropriate committees “to conduct an inquiry... with the end in view of proposing legislative measures that would effectively promote lasting peace and prosperity in Mindanao."
The senator, who is the son of former President Corazon Aquino, called for the “immediate disarmament of all unlawfully armed groups in Maguindanao” while asking that those who were witness to the incident must be provided “a secure environment” to ensure that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.
His appeal came a legislative colleague and vice-presidential candidate Sen. Mar Roxas, has sought for the disarmament of paramilitary forces in the province, replacement of police personnel in the area, and the institution of a swift and firm action against the criminals.
Calling the bloodshed as “one of the most harrowing, senseless, and inhuman acts in our recent history,” Roxas described the savagery as something that “offends and disgusts me as Filipino citizen, and as a human being.”
He also urged Malacañang that aside from creating an impartial team to probe into the mayhem, the President should order the prompt arrest of all identified suspects and their detention in Manila where supervision and monitoring is assured.
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