Maguindanao 2nd district Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu (Photo by LJ Pasion|MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Cong. Mangudadatu asks Human Rights body to probe Maguindanao Eid’l Fitr mortar explosion

Buluan, Maguindanao- Maguindanao 2nd district Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu wants the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to carry out an investigation on the explosion in Barangay Kitango, Datu Saudi Ampatuan town, Maguindanao during the Eid’l Fitr celebration last May 24, Sunday, a Manila Bulletin report said Wednesday.
The explosion killed two minor siblings, and injured 14 others who are admitted in one of Cotabato City’s hospitals.

The CHR should conduct “a thorough and impartial investigation on the case” as local folk believed that the explosions were caused by mortar shells fired by military troops. Because of this, barangay residents couldn’t help but express frustration over the incident and demand justice for the slain children and wounded family members, Mangudadatu said as quoted by the Bulletin.

“My family and I were also victims of unspeakable violence, so believe me when I tell you that I understand the gravity of what they (the victims) are going through,” the congressman said, referring to the 2009 Maguindanao Massacre where his wife, Bai Genalyn, and sister were killed along with more than fifty members of media.

“But while I understand their sentiments, I fervently ask for temperance and call for cooler heads to prevail,” said Mangudadatu, the Bulletin report quoting Mangudadatu saying.

“As Chair of the Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Committee at the House of Representatives, I appeal to everyone to please refrain from spreading unverified information that may further lead to more acts of violence,” he appealed.

Mangudadatu lamented that incidents such as this often end in animosity and rebellion against the government and law enforcement authorities.

He also said that aside from emotional and financial support, the affected families also need spiritual and mental counseling to tide them from their harrowing experience.