But in the article’s eleventh paragraph we learn that there is an “Islamic insurgency” in the area. Fit to print — but just barely! “21 Filipinos Are Reported Dead in Election Violence,” by Carlos H. Conde for the New York Times, November 23 (thanks to Bill):
MANILA — In one of the worst incidents of election- related violence in the Philippines in recent memory, a group of more than 40 people — including lawyers, journalists and relatives of a local politician — were kidnapped by armed men Monday, and military officials said 21 of them had been killed.
Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner, a military spokesman in Manila, said 21 bodies had been recovered in Maguindanao, a province on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines that has often been wracked by election violence. Thirteen of the dead were women, according to the military.
Maj. Gen. Alfredo Cayton, a security official in the province, said in a radio interview that the victims had been shot. But relatives of most of the victims said at least 30 abductees had been killed and many of them beheaded by a group of about 100 men.
The victims were reportedly stopped on their way to an election office to file candidacy papers for Esmael Mangudadatu, the vice mayor of the town of Buluan, who plans to run for governor of Maguindanao. Mr. Mangudadatu said on ABS-CBN television that his wife, his sister and several other female relatives had been in the group and that he had received confirmation that they had been killed.
He said they had been filing his candidacy documents in the hope that women would not be attacked. Lawyers and reporters accompanied the group, although the military did not identify the bodies they had recovered.
“We believe more bodies are buried,” Colonel Brawner said, according to Reuters. “Unfortunately, the killing happened before our troops got there.”…
Attacks on candidates and supporters during campaign periods are common throughout the Philippines. In 2007 local elections, nearly 100 people were killed in such attacks.
Election violence is more extreme in Maguindanao, where an Islamic insurgency and decades-old clan wars complicate the security situation. Loose firearms, many of them in the hands of criminal groups and political warlords, have worsened the situation in this and other areas….