Press Release
November 24, 2009


Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile yesterday strongly condemned the massacre of 21 men and women, including journalists and lawyers, in Maguindanao. He issued the following statement.

"I strongly condemn the massacre of 21 innocent and non-combatant men and women (at recent count), including journalists and lawyers, in Maguindanao, as not just a blow to peace and stability in the Mindanao region, but a blow against the rule of law, freedom and democracy.

"I understand from news reports that the victims were on their way to the local office of the Commission on Elections to file certificates of candidacy for some candidates for local office when they were waylaid and brutally massacred.

"The violence is unparalleled in recent history and is a bloody prelude to the 2010 elections in which the hopes of our people for a change for the better has been laid.

"Those who perpetrated this dastardly crime should be brought to justice, whoever they are, whatever their political affiliations and connections. The whole resources of the state should be harnessed toward this objective if only to assure our people that the government would exert all efforts not just to deliver justice to but ensure peaceful, orderly and clean elections."

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