Press Release
November 28, 2009

Pia: Disarm all private armies in Maguindanao!

With Malacanang's recent announcement that it would suspend all local executive, police and military officials in Maguindanao, Senator Pia S. Cayetano today said the government must now undertake more aggressive measures to disarm all private armies in the area -- not only of the Ampatuans, but also of other known warlords.

"Our police and armed forces would have to do better than showcasing 300 rusting garand rifles that were supposedly confiscated from members of the Ampatuans' private militia," she said, referring to news footages showing the supposed disarming of the Ampatuans' private army last Thursday.

"Seriously now, I don't think anyone would believe that the Ampatuans had been able to lord it over Maguindanao with a private army that uses relic rifles from World War II," remarked Cayetano, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Social Justice.

"That's a big joke! Where are the high-powered firearms used by the perpetrators last Monday?"

She said the public's continued skepticism can be attributed to the Arroyo regime's close ties with political and warlord clans in Maguindanao, particularly in the allegations of vote rigging to favor Mrs. Gloria Arroyo in the 2004 polls as revealed in the "Hello Garci" tapes.

"It was the Arroyo administration which spawned the monster in Maguindanao. In order to slay it, it would have to take great political will from the government and the people's continued vigilance."

At the same time, the lady senator scoffed at Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr.'s claim that it was MILF renegade commander Ameril Ombra Kato who led Monday's carnage.

"That claim is fantastic, and although investigators are duty-bound to explore all possible angles, I would like to think that they know better than to fall for the diversionary tactics of a prime suspect."

News Latest News Feed