Dear Friends in Media,
We are writing to once more dramatize the insensitivity by Maguindanao officials to the suffering and deaths of their hapless and poor constituents.
Weeks after Maguindanao was placed under a state of calamity due to the recent joint military and police operation against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), one of our officials – Buluan, Maguindanao Vice Mayor King Jhazzer Mangudadatu and other members of the Mangudadatu clan flew en masse to Las Vegas to see the Fight of the Century. Their boxing and plane tickets worth hundreds of thousands of pesos could have already fed 80,000 evacuees in our place.
And as we all cower in fear here for possible retaliation from the death of suspected bomber/terrorist Abdul Basit Usman in Guindulungan town, Maguindanao, Vice Mayor Mangudadatu had the gall to boastfully post in Facebook his ringside ticket and pictures with boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, as if mocking the atmosphere of fear and hardship in our hometown.
This is the same Mangudadatu whose wife Jacky Tan Mangudadatu loves to endlessly post on Instagram pictures of their family before their R44 Raven II and two other helicopters which cost P25 million to P40 million each. Ms. Jacky rubs it in by also posting their multi-million properties, P7 million -Hummer vehicles and jewelries in social media.
Vice Mayor Mangudadatu, Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu’s eldest son, is also fond of posting on Facebook pictures of himself on the helicopters the Mangudadatu Clan owns. The Mangudadatus may deny this but the pictures – that they themselves posted on social media – do not lie. It is their words against the pictures and texts that they and their friends posted, “like(d)” and commented upon.
Besides, the ownership by the Mangudadatu of a fleet of helicopters – which are very expensive to maintain – are well known to us all. Even the local media knows about it and have reported about it many times (please readhttp://www.mindanews.com/maguindanao-watch/monitoring-maguindanao/2011/01/26/mangudadatu-“if-i-do-something-wrong-tell-me”/ ).
We would very much appreciate if you can publish in newspaper or broadcast these pictures on television for the Office of the Ombudsman or the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao under Gov. Mujiv Hataman to take concrete action on this ostentatious display of wealth by the family of Maguindanao Gov. Toto Mangundadatu.
The origin of their wealth boggles our mind because Maguindanao is known to be the fourth poorest province in the Philippines, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NCSB)’s 2012 Poverty Statistics (http://www.rappler.com/business/27276-poorest-provinces-philippines).
Our lands here are mostly barren. Where do the Mangudadatus get the money to buy 3 helicopters, several Hummer and other SUVs, multi-million sport bikes and live princely lives?
Help us tell the world the real situation here and the reasons why poor people join rebel and terrorist groups; and reasons why heroes like the SAF 44 have to die.
Writing for the Long Suffering People of Maguindanao,
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