Posted by: luvin | November 28, 2009


After the  Maguindanao massacre, what are the expectations of the ordinary people from Mindanao. My instict tell me that there will be vengeance looming somewhere sometime. I and many others expect that to happen, and it will happen, because it could happen.

Am I a bit worried that it could happen? To be very honest, no. Why? because it is not my fight, it is not my battle. Thats the way things are conducted here. Do not dip your fingers on your neighborhs plate. Of course I was shocked by the incident, and I am still trying to understand the complexity of this massacre.

This may a bit too gruesome or barbaric for people in a civilize society, but there are places in this world that have unique and gruesome  means to settle grievances. Genearally, the non muslims of course do not adhere to that kind of conflict resolution, but in unique situations, they would also resort to similar resolution, because when in Rome you have to behave how the Romans are behaving. (Are we norturing the culture of violence here, or we are simply doing what is necessary).

Rido is not only a simple clan war for power. It goes with it the traditional vendetta that is passed on from one generation to another. One reason why guns are very important in the cultural context of the muslims. One reason why I can not and should not participate in their fights, because it is their fight that may go on till the bad blood is thinly washed by time. The real meaning of rido is already mangled beyond recognition. It is far from settling disputes, but closer to vengeance. It is the traditional practice of pinnance, of paying blood for blood debt.

The Maguindanao massacre however, is not simple rido, it is political power played to its brutal end. This is the result when man is so drunk with power and he has guns to imposed his will. This is the result when the government institutions are weak.  This is the result when government policies and stuctures are not congruent to the local needs.

I would like to end this article with a comment from a Sinsuat whom I have some conversation way back, we were talking about local politics and governance, he said; “the local politicians today are luckier compared to their counterparts in the past because today elected local politicians have honorariom and IRA.”


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