Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Philippines massacre

Oh good grief, this is just horrible, a massive massacre in the Philippines. Initial reports seem to be that it's an attempt to disrupt the coming elections: either to frighten off voters or perhaps to try and get the whole exercise halted or delayed.

Police in the Philippines have found more bodies at a shallow grave in the south of the country, bringing the total number of victims kidnapped yesterday to a least 46.

They were ambushed by gunmen as they travelled to register nominations for next May’s election and were reportedly hacked to death or shot a point blank range.

The President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has declared a state of emergency.

‘‘No effort will be spared to bring justice to the victims and hold the perpetrators accountable to the full limit of the law. The chief of staff has ordered the establishment of check and choke points,’‘ she said.

The Island of Mindanao is notorious for violence between rival clans but even this pre-poll attack has shocked ordinary Filipinos.

One of the people I was at school with is standing in those elections: fortunately, on a different island where matters are not so violent.