Philippine democracy under fire (Financial Times)
Posted by akosistella on May 9, 2010
By the time I visited in mid-March, there was almost nothing left to show what had happened on this red gash of earth in the southern Philippines. The bodies had long been removed. So had the banana leaves that police had hastily used to cover the victims once they had been dug from their shallow graves. All that remained on the lonely hillside, surrounded by palms and gently undulating slopes, were a few strands of yellow police tape, twisting in the tall talahib grass.
The crime scene was no longer cordoned off. But it was still deemed too dangerous to visit alone. I had come with an escort of nine rather bored-looking soldiers from the Philippine army. As we drove up the winding dirt track towards the massacre site, they scanned the hillsides with their M-16 rifles. Apart from the police tape, the only clue to what had happened four months earlier was a plastic banner. It had curled upon itself in the heat, making it impossible to read. When a colleague unravelled it, the short entreaty to the 57 victims came into view: “You may rest in peace while we seek justice.”
Via Financial Times