Prayer memorial held for Ampatuan victims

COTABATO CITY—The victims of the Maguindanao massacre in Ampatuan town were remembered by multi-sectoral groups in a prayer memorial being held for the victims a year after the tragedy.

Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin M. Bagaforo said a triduum (three-day series of prayers) began yesterday afternoon and will end tomorrow.

The prayers are said every afternoon before the celebration of the Holy Mass at 5:30 p.m.

He invites the general public to join the prayers for the eternal repose of the victims’ souls. Fifty seven individuals died in what was considered the largest political carnage in Philippine history.

“The incident taught us a lot of lessons,” the 56 year-old prelate said in a telephone interview. He said that the maxim “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” was proven true in the case of the fateful incident.

The incident underscored the need for political maturity among the citizenry who ought to elect people worthy of public trust, the bishop said.

Bagaforo also noted the need for the public and private sectors to work together in terms of pursuing transparency in governance with the appropriate attention given to checks and balance.

Asked if some healing has taken place among the victims’ nearest of kin, Bishop Bagaforo said a year may not be enough for the nearest of kin to move on. He said there are victims’ relatives who still feel the pain of losing a loved one whenever the term “massacre” is mentioned in casual talks. Melo M. Acuna

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