Philippines massacre sends shock waves through Hawaii - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Philippines massacre sends shock waves through Hawaii

Paul Cortes Paul Cortes
Jerry Finin Jerry Finin
Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A caravan of empty vehicles and a hole in a grassy hillside were markers for 22 bodies dug out of a mass grave in the Philippines.

In two days, Philippines police and military found 46 victims of violence in the southern province of Maguindanao.

"It's a hot spot," Hawaii Philippine consul Paul Cortes said.

East-West Center Sr. Fellow Jerry Finin studies Philippine politics.

He said the killings stem from a political family feud.

"In this particular part of Mindanao there's a history of electoral violence, particularly between and among clans or family coalitions," he said.

The victims of the attack were supporters of a candidate running for governor of Maguindanao.

They were going to register his candidacy papers.

Philippines President. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo promises justice.

"No effort will be spared to bring justice to the victims and hold the perpetrators accountable to the full limit of the law," she said.

She put two southern provinces and one city under a state of emergency.

"Curfews could be imposed and warrants of arrest could be issued to those who are maybe deemed as perpetrators of the dastardly crime," Cortes said.

Up to twenty journalists were among the dead.

Finin said Arroyo has political ties to the governor of Maguindanao. He's been linked to the killings.

"No one is blaming her directly but people are asking, 'Why did you have this close political affiliation with a family that may have inclinations like this?" Finin said.

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