Philippine President urged to put Maguindanao in state of emergency

20:29, November 23, 2009      

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Presidential Adviser for Mindanao Affairs Jesus Dureza Monday urged Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to declare a state of emergency in the province Maguindanao to stop more bloodshed.

Dureza issued the statement shortly after military officials confirmed that 21 people, including several media men, were abducted and killed Monday in Maguindanao owing to a political rivalry.

"There must be a total stop to this senseless violence. I strongly recommend that a state of emergency be imposed in the area and everyone be disarmed. Anything less will not work," Dureza said.

He described the Maguindanao hostage crisis as a "gruesome massacre of civilians unequaled in recent history" especially as "even working women, media men were not spared."

Presidential Political Adviser Gabriel Claudio said in another statement they're still trying to verify the facts surrounding the incident, which reportedly involves a powerful politician in Maguindanao.

"We're in shock and in total outrage. Justice will be served and the perpetrators punished, whoever they are," Claudio said.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said they strongly condemn the incident.

"The authorities have to determine who is responsible for this as soon as possible to show the public that we cannot tolerate such violence," Fajardo said.

Source: Xinhua
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