than high-caliber firearms; the raids have made public 16 homes in
Davao City and 14 mansions in Maguindanao, all belonging to the
While the Ampatuans wallow in splendor and grandeur, their
constituents suffer the hardship of squalor and poverty that is
prevalent in the third poorest province in the country.
The question is, where did all this wealth come from? Gov. Andal
Ampatuan's Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SALN) for 2002 shows
only a net worth of P11 million. As public servants, Gov. Ampatuan and
the rest of his family must answer to the people for amassing a
suspicious amount of wealth while in power.
More importantly, the discovery of thousands of voter's identification
cards and other election materials in the home of Shariff Aguak Mayor
Anwar Ampatuan is a tell-tale sign of the source of their wealth, and
is further evidence of the long-standing rumors that the powerful
Ampatuan clan was involved in rigging the 2004 and 2007 elections.
It is no secret that the Ampatuans count themselves as the staunch
allies of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and that the province
where the Ampatuans have wielded their iron grip for more than a
decade is a known bulwark of the administration. The tragedy in
Maguindanao has now shed light into the ghost of electoral fraud that
has continued to haunt GMA's presidency.
We have had enough. We call on the Office of the Ombudsman and the
Department of Justice to conduct an immediate and impartial
investigation into the apparent ill-gotten wealth that is a stark
example of the corruption that has eroded our democracy, and the
fruits of this administration's efforts to deceive our people of its
ATTY. EDWIN LACIERDA
Presidential Campaign of Benigno S. Aquino III