Ampatuans in the 2013 elections

  • Super typhoon expected to weaken before reaching Philippines

    Super typhoon expected to weaken before reaching Philippines

    Associated Press
    Super typhoon expected to weaken before reaching Philippines

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A super typhoon blamed for the deaths of at least four people on islands in the western Pacific Ocean has moved into the open sea and is expected to significantly weaken before reaching the Philippines later this weekend. …

  • Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better

    Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better

    AFP News
    Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better

    President Benigno Aquino Wednesday hailed renovations to the Philippines' main international airport, expressing optimism it would soon shake off its ranking on one website as the world's worst airport. Almost a year after he personally apologised for the failure of air-conditioning at Terminal 1 of Manila's international airport, Aquino said the facility appeared to be completely different. "It is like I have entered a completely different airport," he told reporters as he inspected the …

  • Filipino killed, five wounded in Libya attack: security source

    Filipino killed, five wounded in Libya attack: security source

    AFP News
    Filipino killed, five wounded in Libya attack: security source

    A Filipino oil worker has been killed and five others wounded in a rocket attack on a coastal town west of the Libya capital, a Libyan security source said on Monday. "Our embassy in Tripoli confirmed that one Filipino died in (a) bombing in Zawiya," spokesman Charles Jose said in a text message to AFP. Libya has been wracked by conflict since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi, with rival militias and governments battling for its oil wealth. The …

  • Duke University investigates noose found hanging on campus

    Associated Press

    DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke officials said Wednesday that they are trying to find out who hung a noose outside a building that houses several offices, including those focused on diversity. …

  • Trial to seek role of online bullying in teen girl's suicide

    Trial to seek role of online bullying in teen girl's suicide

    Associated Press
    Trial to seek role of online bullying in teen girl's suicide

    A 15-year-old girl hanged herself a week after three classmates photographed themselves sexually assaulting her at a 2012 party, petrified the boys would circulate the photos online and believing gossip ... …

By Ramon Casiple for Yahoo! Southeast Asia

province of Maguindanao.  This was in connection, of course, to the infamous Maguindanao massacre in which Governor Andal Ampatuan, Sr., sons and followers were charged of killing 58 persons, including 32 journalists.

Of the 72 (Rappler.com counted it at 74), PCIJ counted 34 running with the United National Alliance (UNA), a coalition between Vice-President Jejomar Binay's Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban ng Pilipino (PDP-Laban) and former President Joseph Estrada's Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP). Nine Ampatuans are running with the Liberal Party.

How come this thing happened? Or, as some observers said, how come this was "permitted" by the Aquino administration? The answer, I think, lies in the various factors that affected the Maguindanao politics of the present.

First of all, the Ampatuan clan and its related clans formed a huge swath of Maguindanao electoral constituency, estimated at more than 60 percent of the voting population in the province. The province's registered voters in the 2010 national and local elections numbered 652,933 voters, the largest in the whole ARMM. Of this number, some 443,386 or 67.91% voted. This was however whittled down considerably by the general registration of July 2012.

The Maguindanao votes during Andal Ampatuan's time are considered as a huge command vote reserve due to his terror regime which intimidated or influenced the local governments, including the local Comelec, in the area. As such, even national politicians, whether incumbent or opposition, curry favors from him for all or part of this vote reserve.

Now, the Ampatuan clan vote has fragmented, with a part the clan siding with Governor Esmael "Toto" Mangungudato, the LP's official candidate for governor. This consists of clan members who got in the way of Andal's rise to power and those who were close to the Mangungudatos in the first place. To be sure, the Mangungudatos are considered part of the larger Ampatuan clan before the clash over the governorship in the 2010 elections.

The considerable number however remained intact outside of the Mangungudato influence. They are now orphaned, with most distancing themselves from Andal and his sons. They found refuge or ally with Mayor Tocao Mastura, the PDP-Laban official candidate for governor.

Secondly, the old adage "Politics is addition" still applies to the Maguindanao politics. This is where the traditional politicians only count the votes they get, not where these votes are coming from. From their point of view, a vote is a vote is a vote.

This unfortunately includes national politicians who have the 2016 presidential elections in mind. The Maguindanao votes are too tempting not to try to make sure that their local bets win in the local elections. The 2013 elections, for them, is the opportunity to build the vote base for the 2016 elections. If they know anything about the Ampatuan candidacies, they deny it, and as long as this does not become a big issue that would lead to vote loses elsewhere, the pragmatic view here is to tacitly accept these.

At the end of the day, the Ampatuan vote may not anymore be the potent block it once was. The question therefore is: Does it matter whether you get it or not? For many, as the outcry manifests, the costs are simply too high.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • State of emergency as super typhoon batters Micronesia
    State of emergency as super typhoon batters Micronesia

    Residents of the Micronesian State of Chuuk were struggling to clear the roads of huge pieces of debris and return to damaged homes Wednesday as Super Typhoon Maysak cut a destructive path across the central Pacific leaving at least five dead. "Governor Johnson Elimo declared a state of emergency (in Chuuk) due to damage by Typhoon Maysak, including five deaths," FSM President Manny Mori said in a statement, indicating foreign aid would be needed to support relief efforts. There was extensive …

  • Super typhoon expected to weaken before reaching Philippines
    Super typhoon expected to weaken before reaching Philippines

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A super typhoon blamed for the deaths of at least four people on islands in the western Pacific Ocean has moved into the open sea and is expected to significantly weaken before reaching the Philippines later this weekend. …

  • Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better
    Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better

    President Benigno Aquino Wednesday hailed renovations to the Philippines' main international airport, expressing optimism it would soon shake off its ranking on one website as the world's worst airport. Almost a year after he personally apologised for the failure of air-conditioning at Terminal 1 of Manila's international airport, Aquino said the facility appeared to be completely different. "It is like I have entered a completely different airport," he told reporters as he inspected the …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options