The truth of the matter, as a foreign observer from the Wall Street Journal sees it:
FORMER Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro is the most viable candidate for the presidency next year because he is the only one with a “solid background in law and order,” according to an editor of the Wall Street Journal.
“None of the other front-runners in the 2010 presidential derby has a solid background in law and order,” Brett Decker, the business paper’s opinion editor, said in the daily’s online edition late last month.
“A volatile situation underscores the need for a leader competent in handling law-and-order problems,” he said.
(Sources: Manila Standard Today, Manila Bulletin)
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Why do civilian armed forces exist?
Why is it difficult to disarm citizen’s armies?
Where did the weapons of the Ampatuans come from?
How were the Ampatuans able to pilfer some weapons from the government?
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When Toto Mangudadatu said during his testimony at the Ampatuan trial on January 27, 2010 that Sec. Teodoro warned him about the Ampatuans, some media outlets reported that Mangudadatu was blaming Sec. Teodoro.
Mangudadatu explained that what Sec. Teodoro told him was an expression of concern from a friend who wanted to protect him ("pagmamahal ng isang kaibigan" were Mangudadatu's exact words), and he was not blaming Sec. Teodoro. Mangudadatu issued this clarification, but the biased press did not carry it:
From Manila Bulletin, February 3, 2010:
Vice Mayor Esmail “Toto” Mangudadatu of Buluan town, Maguindanao has clarified that an attempt by Lakas-Kampi-CMD standard bearer Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. to dissuade him to run against Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. in the gubernatorial race in Maguindanao elections before the gruesome murder of 57 persons last November 23 was not aimed at dislodging him from the political scene but a “sincere advice from a friend” wanting to protect him from possible aggression from the Ampatuans.
In a press conference at the Linden Suites in Pasig City, Mangudadatu, whose wife Gennalyn was among those killed in the massacre in Ampatuan town, also reiterated his support to Teodoro’s candidacy.
“Alam n’yo, ‘party man ako,’ at ang aking support kay Secretary Gilbert Teodoro ay hindi nababahiran yan at hindi maaalis ang aking support sa kanya (You know, I am a ‘party man,’ and my support to Secretary Gilberto Teodoro will never change),” Mangudadatu said.
“At yung mga sinabi Secretary Gibo noon ay pagmamahal bilang isang kaibigan (The advice given to me by Secretary Gibo came from a ‘true friend’),” he said.
Mangudadatu issued the statement in view of negative reactions from various sectors when he revealed during a hearing of the Maguindanao massacre case a week ago that Teodoro asked him not to engage Andal Sr. in the gubernatorial race because he considered him “a violent person.”
Mangudadatu’s statement drew criticisms against the former defense chief for allegedly failing to provide protection to his family that led to the massacre incident.
Others interpreted the vice mayor’s claims as Teodoro favoring the Ampatuan over him in relation to the tense political intramurals in Maguindanao.
“They should not blame Secretary Gibo because he does not have operational control over the military forces in our area. The military commanders in the field are the ones in charge in the operations,” Mangudadatu emphasized.
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MY LITTLE WORDS OF WISDOM:
Toto Mangudadatu, who suffered the biggest personal loss in the November 23, 2009 incident and who understands the situation in Maguindanao better than most people, does not blame Sec. Teodoro. Makes you wonder why certain columnists, amateur web pundits, and presidential candidates are acting more "affected" than Mangudadatu himself.