The images and the captions of this blog entry were the personal accounts/musings of Pastor Dann Pantoja at the “Ampatuan Massacre” ground zero. (Here is Part 1 of 3: The Arrival)
Published with written permission:
I weep with the victims and with the families and friends of the victims. This is the time to be angry. This is the time when the energy of righteous anger must be translated into non-violent vigilance and sustained, active, noisy cry for justice until the perpetrators are actually brought to justice.
At first, I refuse to publish this photo.
But because I am hearing rumors of violence that might escalate into inter-clan cycle of violence, I say, “Enough is enough!
This is the ugly picture of violence! This is the spiraling effect of injustice called violence!”
Rev. Luis Daniel Alba Pantoja’s message to his friends around the world:
I encourage our friends around the world to support our call:
“Healing Justice – A Path to Peace: Mindanao Civil Society Recommendations on the Ampatuan Massacre,”
Photo Inset: Rev. Luis Daniel Alba Panjoja ordained protestant Christian minister, serving as a peacebuilding missionary in Mindanao under the Mennonite Church of Canada. Manila, 2009. (Rev. means Revolutionary–the non-violent kind.) ( Source: The Rev’s Facebook Account.)
These are the vehicles that were waiting to be buried. But then, the national authorities came and the perpetrators did not complete burying all the bodies and vehicles.
This vehicle particularly caught my attention.
It’s one of the media vehicles that was shot by a 50 caliber machine gun.
Inside were some of the materials those journalists were reading. I somehow had a minute-glimpse of the humanity of those media professionals. How could another human being shoot these unarmed human beings with a 50-caliber machine gun?
This is a pair of shoes belonging to one of the slain journalists. I promise, within my God-given capacity, that I will continue his journey to be courageous in upholding freedom, to be willing to risk one’s life for truth, to advance justice through non-violent means, and to accompany others as they pass through the valley of death for the sake of just-peace.
This tri-pod belongs to another journalist.
Here is the van where most of the women were in. The perpetrators took time to rip-off the glass window by pounding it with their rifles’ butt.
What if I were in that van during those moments? I cannot even imagine the fear and terror it brought to the victims!
This is the vehicle identity.
Here’s what I saw inside.
Here’s what I saw at the back.
Here’s another van which was actually not a part of the convoy. They followed too close to the Mangudadatu Convoy. All the passengers were killed too.
This van was used by another group of journalists. I can’t help but reflect on the significance of the sign in the context of what just happened to them.
“Pastil” is a popular take-out lunch in Maguindanao. This is our usual lunch whenever we’re on the Central Mindanao peacebuilding field. The ones who brought these pieces of “pastil” did not have the chance to enjoy them.
This picture is to honor Henry Araneta, a newscaster in South Cotabato. I also offer this to his family and friends.
(to be continued)
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List of Pastor Dann’s “From the album: November 23 Ampatuan Town Massacre”
- From the album: “November 23 Ampatuan Town Massacre” by Pastor Dann Pantoja – part 1 of 3
- From the album: “November 23 Ampatuan Town Massacre” by Pastor Dann Pantoja – part 2 of 3
- From the album: “November 23 Ampatuan Town Massacre” by Pastor Dann Pantoja – part 3 of 3