As Massacre Toll Hits 46, Philippines Declares Emergency

Eleven more bodies found in mass grave
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2009 5:03 AM CST
As Massacre Toll Hits 46, Philippines Declares Emergency
The hand of one of dead victims lies across a police line at a hillside in Datu Ampatuan, Maguindanao province, southern Philippines today.   (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

A state of emergency has been declared in the southern Philippines after local police found 22 bodies buried in mass graves, bringing the toll in the slaughter of political supporters and journalists to 46. The convoy traveling to register a candidate for a provincial governor was stopped and attacked by at least 100 gunmen yesterday, the AP reports, and candidate Ismael Mangudadatu's wife and two sisters are among the dead.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has vowed to spare no effort to bring those responsible to justice. A dozen journalists were killed in the massacre, believed to be the largest death toll the news media has ever suffered on a single day. "This is a senseless slaughter," said the director of the International Press Institute. "It is the work of journalists to report on political campaigns on behalf of the public. By acting in this way these individuals have shown that they not only stand outside of democracy but also outside of humanity." (More Philippines stories.)

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