Mangudadatu to ailing Ampatuan:Say sorry for ‘Maguindanao Massace’ PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 July 2015 10:41

Governor Esmael Mangudadatu on Monday urged the cancer-stricken Andal Ampatuan, Sr. to do  “tawbah” and be sorry for the now infamous Nov. 23, 2009 “Maguindanao Massacre” that shook the nation to its core.

The term tawbah, found in the Quran, could either mean repentance, or turnaround from character or practices in contrast with Islamic teachings.

Mangudadatu said Ampatuan is confined now at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, terminally ill with liver cirrhosis.

“I can forgive him, especially at this time when we are observing the Islamic Ramadhan fasting season. All we want to hear is his appeal for forgiveness,” Mangudadatu told reporters.

Muslims abstain from food and drinks from dawn to dusk during the month-long Ramadhan, which started June 18, and focus on reparations for wrongdoings and acts of piety as a religious obligation and to achieve spiritual perfection via self-restraint.

Ampatuan is being prosecuted for allegedly masterminding the Nov. 23, 2009 brutal murder of 58 people, among them Mangudadatu’s spouse, Genalyn, and more than 30 journalists, in what is now most known as the “Maguindanao Massacre,” the country’s worst election-related violence ever.

The victims were in a convoy en route to the provincial capitol in Shariff Aguak, hometown of the Ampatuans, to file on Mangudadatu’s behalf his certificate of candidacy for governor of Maguindanao during the May 13, 2010 elections.

The convoy was flagged down by gunmen, led by relatives of the detained former governor, among them his political heir-apparent, Andal, Jr., herded into hill along the Cotabato-Gen. Santos Highway and, there, killed one after another with assault rifles and K3 light machineguns.

The Ampatuan clan was rabidly opposed to the plan of Mangudadatu, then vice mayor of Buluan, to contest the candidacy for Maguindanao governor during the 2013 polls of Andal, Jr., who, at that time, was mayor of Datu Unsay.

“He will be forgiven if he would ask for it. Me and my relatives can even pay him visit to the hospital where he is presently confined,” Mangudadatu said.

However, Mangudadatu said the Ampatuans implicated in the massacre must still face court proceedings and wait for a verdict on their involvement in the atrocity even if relatives of all massacre victims have granted them forgiveness.

“Forgiveness and reparation are two different things, but are common in the context of genuine repentance and reparation for misbehavior,” Mangudadatu said.

So feared were the Ampatuans when their detained patriarch was governor of Maguindanao from 1998 to 2007.

They were known for being absolutely intolerant of political opposition and for having used heavily-armed clan militias to perpetuate power.