Monday, September 6, 2010

Ampatuan Mansions, Davao city

I was too lucky to have a generous cousin who let us stay in her town house in Juna Subdivision ( an enclave of the old rich of Davao) during our recent short visit to the nature blessed city. But what really poked me, aside from the beautiful house of my cousin, was to realize that the mansions of the Ampatuans, yeeess the controversial clan : Snap Facts : It was on Nov. 23,2009 that armed men believed to be led by Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. slaughtered at least 57 people, including members of the Mangudadatu clan and at least 27 journalists, in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao province., were just sitting on the next streets of the same village.

It was hard to ignore the imposing presence of the mansions ( one of Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and of his father Andal Sr.). Occupying the whole block (estimating 2000 sq.meters), photos above, the still under construction of Gov. Zaldy was quiet and looked uninhabited by the time of my visit (Aug. 18,2010). It looked deserted with the grasses growing tall in front of the mansion. Ofcouse, I dared not try to peek inside, but from the outside it was totally silent.

The mansion was so huge, it continued to stand up to the next street. There were high fences and gates that were not yet finished. Political rumors have it that questionable possessions of the Ampatuans would be sequestered,reminded me of what happened to the Marcos-es.

We drove to another street of Juna Subdivision and saw a similar mansion in size and structure. Said to be the one belong to the father, Andal Sr. This too occupied a block of 2000 sq. meters.

My Ampatuan mansion tour didn't end here. I went to Cotabato the following day and passed by the controversial towns of the Ampatuans. There I had a more extensive glimpse of the opulent living of the Ampatuans. The mansions were actually very similar in structure to the ones here in Davao. Check them here later.

"The real differences around the world today are not between Jews and Arabs; Protestants and Catholics; Muslims, Croats, and Serbs.  The real differences are between those who embrace peace and those who would destroy it; between those who look to the future and those who cling to the past; between those who open their arms and those who are determined to clench their fists."  ~William J. Clinton, 1997

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