November 16, 2010

“They Own the People”

The Ampatuans, State-Backed Militias, and Killings in the Southern Philippines

Map of Central Mindanao
Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations
Key Recommendations
I. Background
The Legacy of Violence in Mindanao
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
The Rise of the Ampatuans
Paramilitary Forces and Private Armies
II. Pattern of Abuses
Map of Maguindanao
Killings and Other Serious Abuses by Ampatuan Forces
Killings and Other Abuses to Expand Political Power
Revenge Killings and Other Abuses
Violence Directed Against Women and Girls
Revenge Killings by the Mangudadatu Family
III.Perpetrators: The Ampatuans’ State-Backed Militia
Structure of the Ampatuans’ Militia
Recruitment, Payment, and Training
IV. The National Government and Militia Abuses
Direct Support for the Ampatuans
Failure to Regulate and Oversee
Appointment of Provincial and Municipal Police Chiefs
Absence of Auditing
Failure to Investigate and Bring Perpetrators to Justice
Fears of Retribution
Poor Policing
Threats to Human Rights Defenders
Weakness of Human Rights Institutions
National Commission on Human Rights
Office of the Ombudsman
Role of Internal Investigations Within PNP, AFP
After the Maguindanao Massacre
V. Legal Framework
Duty to Investigate and Prosecute Human Rights Violations
Philippine National Law
Duties of Law Enforcement Officials
Command Responsibility
Recruitment and Use of Children in Armed Activities
VI. Role of the International Community
VII. Recommendations
To the President of the Philippines
To the Department of Justice
To the Department of Interior and Local Government
To the Philippine National Police
To the Armed Forces of the Philippines
To the National Bureau of Investigation
To the Philippine Congress
To the Commission on Audit
To the Commission on Human Rights
To the Ombudsman’s Office
To Donors and External Partners, Including the United States, European Union, Japan, Australia, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank
To the United States, European Union Member States, Japan, Australia, and other Concerned Governments
To the US Government
VIII. Appendix
Letter from Human Rights Watch to Police Director General Jesus A. Verzosa