Philippine massacre victim's husband wins election

The Philippine deputy mayor whose relatives were among 57 people killed in an election-related massacre last year was declared winner of the governorship of his province.

Philippine massacre victim's husband wins election

The Philippine deputy mayor whose wife, two sisters and four other relatives were among 57 people killed in an election-related massacre last year was declared winner of the governorship of his province on Friday.

Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu, deputy mayor of the lakeside town of Buluan, was proclaimed Maguindanao governor by the elections commission, beating two rivals with links to Andal Ampatuan Sr, patriarch of a clan that ruled the province for nearly a decade.

"This is a victory for the victims of the massacre and for the people of Maguindanao who have been suffering under oppressive rule," Mangudadatu told a crowd of supporters gathered at the capital building in Shariff Aguak town.

"But the battle is not over yet. The culprits have to pay first. Our battle against poverty has also just started."

Escorted by heavily-armed soldiers and combat-trained police officers, Mangudadatu rode in an armoured vehicle to the local election agency office to be proclaimed winner.

The convoy passed through the town where his wife and relatives were murdered along with 30 journalists and 20 other civilians last November. They had been on their way to witness the filing of nomination papers for Mangudadatu to stand against Andal Ampatuan Jr in the elections.

Ampatuan Sr, his four sons and a brother are being held in a maximum detention facility in Manila, awaiting trial on 57 murder charges. Two family members nearly escaped prosecution after the justice department dropped them from the list of accused last month. But the decision was reversed on May 5.


Reuters

Last Mod: 14 Mayıs 2010, 16:07
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