Recent News from the Philippines

  • 12/16/2009: 50,000 people have been evacuated in the Philippines from the area surrounding the Mayon volcano.  The volcano is expected to erupt in the next few days or weeks, CNN.
  • 12/14/2009: Gunmen in the Philippines releases 47 hostages after securing promises from the government that they would not be arrested for the hostage-taking or for previous crimes, Al Jazeera.
  • 12/10/2009: Dozens of villagers are being held hostage in the village of San Martin in Agusan del Sur province in the southern Philippines. The gunmen responsible are former members of a government-sponsored militia who are wanted by police for their involvement in violence related to feuds between local family clans. All children initially taken as hostages, as well as an elderly woman, were released last night. Negotiations resumed this morning for the remaining hostages. The gunmen are seeking to have their arrest warrants overturned,  Associated Press.
  • 12/02/2009: More than 1,000 police officers were removed from their posts in the province of  Maguindanao where 57 people were massacred on November 23 in a pre-election power struggle. Those killed were family members and supporters of Esmael Mangudadatu who were on their way to register his name for the race for governor of the province as well as journalists covering the event. Andal Ampatuan, Jr., son of the current provincial governor, has been charged with 25 counts of murder and is suspected of arranging the massacre. The federal government removed the police officers, who are suspected of helping or allowing the violence, prior to a full investigation of the massacre. They will be replaced with officers from other parts of the Philippines, Al Jazeera.
  • 11/27/2009: Andal Ampatuan Jr., the mayor of Datu Unsay, a town in Maguindanao province in the Philippines, has been charged in the murders of 57 people who were on their way to file election papers for Ismael Mangudadatu, political rival of Ampatuan’s father who is governor of the province, Voice of America. Some of the suspects who carried out the attacks have turned themselves in and others are being sought by authorities. More than 20 journalists were also killed in the attack. New reports have surfaced that the women who were killed in the massacre were shot in the genitals and may have been raped, New York Times. Ismael Mangudadatu, whose wife was killed in the attack, has since filed the papers for his candidacy, Associated Press.

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