Latest Election Related Violence in the Philippines Kills 43

With six months to go before the next national elections, violence already claimed 43 lives in the southern province of Maguindanao in the Philippines. A politician’s wife and his sister were on their way to file certificates of candidacy for the elections were among those killed. A total of 12 journalists covering the filing event were among the dead.Philippines-Mindanao-Island1

Buluan City Vice Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu lost his wife and sister whom he asked to file his certificate of candidacy for the gubernatorial post of Maguindanao. His wife and the women abducted are suspected to have been raped before they were killed.

Initial reports indicated that about 100 gunmen stopped the convoy about 10:30 AM Monday, November 23, 2009. It is believed that they were supporters of a rival candidate.

The bodies were found in a mountainous area of Barangay Salman later in the afternoon.

The Philippine government said that they were “shocked and outraged” in a statement. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered an immediate manhunt.