AMONG THE 802 unopposed candidates for the 2016 elections, a few stood out not just because their surnames sounded familiar, but also because of the frequency in which these kept popping up.
MARY GRACE MORALES lost two loved ones in the Maguindanao Massacre of Nov.23, 2009 — her husband Rosell, a reporter for News Focus, and her sister Marites Cablitas, a reporter of radio DxBX.
From 2002 to 2008, COA reports had scored huge expenses for what could have been identical projects in Maguindanao and ARMM, under the Ampatuans. The reports painted a sorry picture of how one powerful clan could have dipped into public coffers, willfully and wantonly, as if these were its personal purse.
On Nov. 23, 2009, 58 persons were killed in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao province. The victims included 32 journalists and media workers, two lawyers, six motorists passing the same route, and the wife and sisters of Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, at that time the vice-mayor of Buluan town in Maguindanao.