It has come to our attention that several opinion editorials and blog posts have been spreading the erroneous claim that the Ampatuan family owes its rise to power to former President Cory Aquino after she assumed power in 1986. On the contrary, Cory removed Andal Ampatuan Sr., a known Marcos loyalist, and replaced him with his more benign relative, Datu Modi (or Bohdi) Ampatuan. We borrow from Ellen Tordesillas' blog a note from Fr. Eliseo "Jun" Mercado that clarifies things:
Note from Fr. Eliseo “Jun” Mercado:
Datu Andal Sr. was the henchman of Marcos in Maganoy in 1986.. He also was de facto mayor… acting since he was the vice mayor and already appointed as OIC.
Cory removed him from Office!!! I was a witness to that!
The Chief of Police, another Ampatuan yet non political and decent by the name of Datu Mod Ampatuan was appointed by Cory as OIC! I was the one who recommemnded for Datu Modi. He is an Ampatuan so he could maintain order and rule of law being the modest and clean chief of police in the place.
But in the first election post Cory, Datu Andal, Sr was back in power… since he was and still is the undisputed power in Maganoy.
I was the parish priest of Maganoy at the time and NAMFREL chair of the Province.
Although we believe that opinions should be respected, we must ask that these articles be based on the fair exposition of facts. Here are links to opinions on the Ampatuans, the family's warlord dominance, and its relationship with various presidents, particularly Gloria Arroyo, that do not distort:
The Long View: Playing to the gallery, Manuel L. Quezon III
Ampatuan dynasty grew under Arroyo, Gotcha By Jarius Bondoc (The Philippine Star)
More to the Point - The police and private armies, By Dr. Florangel Rosario Braid
The Maguindanao Massacre, Part 2, Fr. Jun Mercado, OMI