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Mindanao after the Massacre

Waiting for blue skies over Mindanao, photo: monnaka/flickr
Waiting for blue skies over Mindanao, photo: monnaka/flickr

The horrific massacre in the south of the Philippines that targeted and killed 57 of the family members of mayoral candidate Esmael Magundadatu as well as 30 accompanying journalists, has unleashed tensions, heated debates and new political dynamics in the most restive corner of the country.

A region mostly known for its Islamic insurgency, highlighted in our blog in September, was, in one violent act, revealed as a hotbed of clan politics, powerful civilian militias and potentially devastating political alliances that have implicated the highest echelons of the Philippine political establishment, including President Arroyo herself.