Hack job, widow says of Andal endorsement

Hack job, widow says of Andal endorsement
ELLSON A. QUISMORIO
Manila Bulletin

The widow of one of the slain journalists in the “Maguindanao Massacre” Thursday called Datu Unsay town Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr.’s “declaration of support” to Liberal Party (LP) presidential bet, Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III as a “bluff.”

Myrna Reblando, 52, said she is convinced that all the declaration is intended to be nothing but a hack job on Aquino, who, she said, is “gaining the confidence of voters in Mindanao.”

“Obvious masyado dahil tumataas ang rating ni Noynoy (It’s too obvious because Noynoy’s rating is on the rise),” Myrna said in an interview at Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig City. “Gusto lang nila siraan ang pangalan ni Noynoy (They just want to besmirch Noynoy’s name).”

Myrna is the wife of Manila Bulletin reporter Alejandro “Bong” Reblando, 53, who met his death along with at least 56 other people in Barangay Salman, Ampatuan, Maguindanao last Nov. 23. No less than 30 media practitioners also died in the slaughter.

To everyone’s surprise, the detained Mayor Ampatuan–wearing a yellow t-shirt and yellow Noynoy Aquino baller wristband–“went out” last Tuesday and voiced his entire family’s endorsement for the LP standard bearer. Even more surprising, he said the declaration in Tagalog, a dialect he reported does not know.

In the press conference that took place at the Metro Manila District Jail (MMDJ) in Camp Bagong Diwa, Andal said the decision to back Aquino came after a “family meeting,” presumably with his jailed relatives there.

But Myrna pointed out that Andal had earlier expressed his support for the Nacionalista Party’s (NP) Manuel “Manny” Villar just over a week ago. “Siguro nagalit sa kanya si Villar dahil bumaba ang rating niya (Maybe Villar got mad at Andal since because of him, his ratings dropped),” she said.

Six members of the Ampatuan clan, an influential political family in Maguindanao, are being held at MMDJ as principal suspects in the massacre. Thus, any association with the Ampatuan name has been treated like a “kiss of death” by national election candidates.

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.