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‘We can’t call them animals, they are monsters’


Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:01:00 11/26/2009

Filed Under: Maguindanao Massacre, political killings, Inquirer Politics, Crime and Law and Justice

COTABATO CITY?A politician whose family was targeted in Monday?s massacre in Maguindanao described the attackers as monsters, saying his murdered sister and aunt were pregnant.

Esmael Mangudadatu, vice mayor of Buluan town who is running for provincial governor, also said his wife was sexually assaulted and mutilated before being killed in the mass slaughter, which he and police said was organized by his political rival.

?We can?t call him an animal because I have pets and they are tame. No, he is a monster. They are monsters,? Mangudadatu told reporters Wednesday.

The Buluan mayor was referring to Andal Ampatuan Jr., a member of President Macapagal-Arroyo?s ruling coalition who police said Wednesday was the top suspect in the massacre.

Mangudadatu said he had sent his wife, two sisters and aunt, along with other women, to file his certificate of candidacy for governor because he had been warned that it was too dangerous for him to do it himself.

?We sent women because in the Muslim culture you don?t hurt women,? he said.

?My youngest sister was five months? pregnant, while my aunt was into her sixth month of pregnancy.?

All of his relatives in the convoy were killed, along with two female lawyers and over a dozen journalists, according to police.

Mangudadatu gave a sickening description of his wife?s fate.

?My wife?s private parts were slashed four times, after which they fired a bullet into it,? he said.

?They speared both of her eyes, shot both her breasts, cut off her feet, fired into her mouth. I could not begin to describe the manner by which they treated her.?

It was not immediately possible to verify Mangudadatu?s claims about mutilation.

Chief Supt. Josefino Cataluna, the regional police chief whose jurisdiction covers Maguindanao, declined to comment when asked about Mangudadatu?s statements.

However, a mortician?s aide at the scene of the mass graves told Agence France Presse there on Tuesday that one unidentified woman victim appeared to be pregnant.

Ampatuan has not commented publicly on the allegations.

Agence France-Presse


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