Noynoy and Mar demand swift and decisive action on Maguindanao massacre
The innocent victims of the Maguindanao massacre and their grieving families deserve no less than the full force of the law against the brutal perpetrators of this unspeakable crime.
We know that the President possesses the power and authority to act firmly and swiftly. Under the PNP Law, she can order the suspension and withdraw the deputation of chief local executives as representatives of the NAPOLCOM in their respective jurisdiction. This effectively removes any power the local chief executives may exercise over the police force assigned in their respective local government units.
The body count in Maguindanao has risen above 50. Primary suspects have been identified by witnesses. However, we have found the government response to this slaughter of innocents severely lacking. Worse, because we know that the power and authority to do more is vested in Executive agencies under the control of the President, and that they have exercised this power and authority swiftly in the past, we conclude that in the case of Maguindanao, this administration has chosen to turn a blind eye.
In order to prevent the escalation of violence in Maguindanao resulting from this administration’s inaction, we demand that the following measures be put in place:
1. The preventive suspension of Mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr., and all other local officials who will be charged in connection with the Maguindanao massacre.
2. The suspension of the local government’s control and authority over the local police force.
3. The immediate relief and replacement of all police officials and personnel in the province of Maguindanao.
4. The immediate revocation of Executive Order No. 546 which authorizes the Philippine National Police to deputize barangay tanods as force multipliers in the implementation of peace and order in local government units.
5.. The immediate return of the COMELEC office to Cotabato City.