Martial Law Placed in Maguindanao, Philippines

The political tension in southern Philippines in the province of Maguindanao continues to escalate as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo placed the area under Martial Law late Friday night, December 4, to further control the situation and let the military storm into the houses of suspect-clan Ampatuan family.maguindanao-martial-law

The province alongside neighboring Sultan Kudarat was placed under emergency rule last week after the murder of 57 people who were on their way to file certificates of candidacy for next year’s national elections.

The emergency rule was probably not enough.

The military has positioned themselves outside the Ampatuan residence to make sure that nobody from the family will be able to move out while the government files murder charges. The family filed a counter move to the country’s Court of Appeals. The court issued a writ of amparo for the clan ordering the military to stop barricading the area.

The writ of amparo is a remedy of a person whose right of life, security and liberty are threatened.

With the martial law declared, the military moved in at 2 AM (local time) Saturday and arrested family patriarch and provincial governor Andal Amaptuan, Sr. The raids in the houses yield loads of armory and weapons enough to arm an entire battalion. According to reports, some of the weapons yielded were either government properties or from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.