MANILA, Philippines? (UPDATE 2) The executive committee of Lakas-Kampi-CMD on Wednesday night voted unanimously to expel Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his two sons, Gov. Zaldy Uy Ampatuan of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. of Datu Unsay town, as party members in good standing after they were linked to the Maguindanao massacre.
?The Ampatuans were stripped of party membership for their failure to uphold party ideals and principles in their area of jurisdiction, specifically relating to the peaceful, legal and democratic pursuit and exercise of political power,? said Lakas-Kampi president and Sarangani Gov. Miguel Dominguez in a phone interview.
Top officials of the administration party held an emergency meeting in Pasig City to tackle the fate of the Ampatuans.
The Maguindanao governor is also the provincial chair of the Lakas-Kampi- Christian Muslim Democrats, while the ARMM governor is the regional chair.
Gilbert ?Gibo? Teodoro, Lakas-Kampi-CMD chair, earlier called for their expulsion from the party.
Teodoro said in a statement: ?I have called on the party to take the decisive step to initiate expulsion proceedings against them for their failure to uphold party ideals and principles in their area of jurisdiction, especially relating to the peaceful, legal and democratic pursuit and exercise of political power.?
Dominguez said Ampatuan Sr. and Zaldy ?being both the actual and symbolic heads of the Ampatuan clan, are now considered expelled from the party and relieved of their duties and responsibilities as the party provincial chair for Maguindanao and regional chair of ARMM, respectively.?
He also urged the Philippine National Police to swiftly solve the massacre in keeping with the call of Teodoro, the administration party?s standard-bearer.
Teodoro, the former Defense secretary, made the call for the Ampatuans? expulsion during a visit to Buluan town in Maguindanao, two days after the massacre of at least 57 people, including members of the Mangudadatu political clan and several journalists. The victims were seized and killed by armed men said to be followers of the powerful Ampatuan clan.
Teodoro came from an oath-taking of new party members in nearby Midsayap town.
In Buluan, Teodoro condoled with families of the victims of what has been described as the worst politically related massacre in the nation?s history.
He urged the government to arrest Andal Ampatuan Jr., who was believed to be behind the massacre, and disarm suspected perpetrators of the ?dastardly crime,? as well as all armed groups in the area to prevent an escalation of violence. With a report from Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, INQUIRER.net