Crafting Gentleness

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Many killed in Phillipine elections

Any work on gentleness is of little value to me unless it allows us to stand in awareness of events like this, and reaffirm that there can be an otherwise, that other ways of being are already possible. But also that such as this are not 'outside humanity' but very much 'of humanity', part of the possible, how particular people make sense of their lives in certain circumstances. These killings made sense to those who carried them out. How did that happen? How can we work to lessen the possibilities of it happening again, and maybe closer to home?

Twelve journalists were among 24 people murdered yesterday in the Philippines in what is thought to be the greatest loss of life by news media in a single day. Several of the victims were beheaded in the massacre carried out by a huge force of gunmen.

The journalists were among a group of about 50 people travelling in a convoy in Maguindanao province, on the southern island of Mindanao, to register candidacy papers for a local mayor planning to stand in a governorship election.

As the convoy reached the village of Masalay it was ambushed by a 100-strong armed gang said to have been led by a politician and a police inspector who opposed the candidacy of Esmael Mangudadatu.

The group, which included his wife and other relatives, were kidnapped and then systematically murdered. Mangudadatu, who wasn't travelling with the convoy, said female members of the group were raped before they were killed.


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