Resolution on the massacre of 57 people in Ampatuan, Maguindanao, in the Philippines

Approved by the ILPS International Coordinating Group
13 March 2010


  • Fifty-seven people, including many women and children, 29 journalists and two human rights lawyers, were brutally murdered by armed men led by a local government official and accompanied by local policemen in Ampatuan, Maguindanao last 23 November 2009,

  • This monstrous crime against humanity was perpetrated by the private army of the Ampatuan clan in collaboration with units of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army (PA),

  • The Ampatuan private army consists of armed units officially designated by the US-Arroyo regime as Civilian Armed Force Geographical Units (CAFGU) and Civilian Volunteers Organization (CVO), subsidized by public funds and operating as auxiliary paramilitary units of the PNP and PA,

  • The Ampatuan clan rules as dominant warlords not only over Maguindanao province but the four provinces constituting the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao where, its patriarch, Andal Ampatuan has been governor for the last 5 years.

  • The Ampatuans evidently had the audacity to carry out the abominable carnage due to their being notoriously close allies of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, having secured her 2004 electoral “victory” by delivering a large margin of votes in her favor through massive fraud and with the connivance of ranking military officers in the region loyal to Arroyo,

  • The Arroyo government accorded the Ampatuans kid gloves treatment: it took four days before the prime suspected perpetrator was taken into custody and only after Arroyo had sent two of her trusted cabinet members to “persuade” the prime suspect to surrender; the Arroyo regime then declared martial law in the province purportedly to “prevent lawlessness” but apparently to allow the Ampatuans to be charged with the lesser crime of rebellion instead of murder on several counts,

  • Military and police elements discovered an armory of weapons, ammunitions and armored vehicles in the possession of the Ampatuans, enough to equip an entire army brigade (at least 1000 men); most had markings tracing them back to the AFP and PNP armories,

  • More than three months after the massacre and the discovery of the Ampatuan armory, most of the perpetrators are still at large and the role of the US-Arroyo regime, especially in arming, coddling and utilizing warlords and private armies such as the Ampatuans, is not being looked into.

Be it resolved, therefore, that the ILPS organizations

  • Condemn with all moral conviction and strength the monstrous massacre of the 57 people at Ampatuan, Maguindanao;

  • Call on all freedom-loving peoples of the world to denounce the Ampatuan Massacre and all other extra-judicial killings in the Philippines, demand an independent probe of these killings,and condemn the Arroyo government for coddling mass murderers and human rights violators;

  • Monitor and ensure the safety of all those likely to be endangered, including the witnesses; and

  • Demand that the US-Arroyo regime stop the killings, end impunity and render justice to the victims!


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