MANILA - FEMALE victims of a political massacre in the Philippines that left 57 people dead were shot in their genitals and may have been raped, Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera said on Friday.
'Even the private parts of the women were shot at. It was horrible. It was not done to just one. It was done practically to all the women,' Ms Devanadera told the GMA television network.
'The zippers of their pants were all undone. We have yet to determine whether they were raped. But it is certain that something bad was done to them.'Police previously said at least 22 of the victims were women. (here)
Philippine Government vows justice for massacre THE Philippines government has expressed outrage and vowed justice following the gruesome killings of 21 people who were among a group of politicians and journalists abducted in the troubled south.
"This is a gruesome massacre of civilians unequalled in recent history," said Jess Dureza, President Gloria Arroyo's adviser on the strife-torn southern region of Mindanao where the murders took place.
We're in shock and in total outrage," Mr Claudio said.
"Justice will be served and the perpetrators punished, whoever they are."
The victims were among a group of about 40 journalists and local officials who were kidnapped on Monday morning by armed men in Maguindanao province.
The military said the others remained unaccounted for, but operations were under way to find them in a hinterland area.
The journalists were accompanying the wife of Esmael Mangudadatu and his supporters to file his candidacy for governorship of the mostly Muslim southern province of Maguindanao in next year's national elections.
They were stopped at a roadside checkpoint and forcibly taken to a hinterland area by men with links to the incumbent governor Andal Ampatuan, the military said.
The Mangudadatu clan is known to have a long-running feud with the family of Ampatuna [Muslim clan], who police say is known to control his own private army.