Jailing All Perpetrators Only Way for Arroyo Gov’t to Redeem Self from Ampatuan Carnage Mess

Get all the perpetrators including the masterminds, lock them up, and throw away the key.

This is the only way for the Arroyo government to redeem itself after it allowed a violent carnage in Maguindanao province and showed signs of going easy on the suspected masterminds, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Thursday. 

“Now that the European Union, United Nations and other leading countries have condemned the Maguindanao massacre, and rightly so, as it is unprecedented in any election-related violence anywhere in the world, the only redeeming value left for our country is to account for all the perpetrators of the crime and lock them all up in jail forever,” Lacson said.

More than 50 people were killed in the gruesome massacre in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao province last Monday.

Investigation so far showed the carnage stemmed from a political feud between the Ampatuan and Mangudadatu clans.

As of early Thursday, Philippine National Police chief Director General Jesus Verzosa said some suspects had been arrested, while Datu Unsay town mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. agreed to surrender.

On the other hand, Lacson said it was equally deplorable that the Ampatuans even served as smiling hosts to presidential adviser on Mindanao Jesus Dureza, who Mrs. Arroyo designated as head of a crisis committee handling the carnage.

Dureza met with the Ampatuans Tuesday even after Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu had indicated the Ampatuans were behind Monday’s massacre.

“It is equally condemnable that the Ampatuans served as smiling hosts to Mrs. Arroyo’s emissary Sec. Jesus Dureza following the massacre, and after initial evidence gathered already pointed to the Ampatuans as the masterminds. Truly, only in the Philippines,” Lacson lamented.