November 29, 2009. An earthquake that measured 6.0 on the richter scale rocked the coast of Mindanao at 0200 am. Could this be mothers natures way of stating it’s defiance towards the gruesome massacre that occurred in nearby Davao?

In the Philippines, election violence has been a regular occurrence for decades. So much so that many don’t consider it as alarming news anymore. But on November 23 a heart wrenching massacre that involved warring clans of Maguindanao (Davao), numerous journalist and innocent bystanders totaled a disgusting 57 bodies found in mass graves buried along with their vehicles (obviously crushed by the backhoe that dug the graves). A report stated that, At least nine gunmen killed the Maguindanao massacre victims, based on the 126 empty shells recovered from the crime scene.

This sick display of lawlessness in the Philippines is just in time for and directly related to the May presidential elections in 2010. This is an appalling use of greed and power by people who actually have the means to help the poorest and ease hunger.

But the killings starkly exposed a nationwide malaise: the fierce competition for regional power among the country’s small élite of a few hundred families and clans that control an inordinate amount of the national wealth — and the desperate lengths some will go to protect their hold on power. -Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1943191,00.html#ixzz0YOPFwaX6

Time.com photo gallery of the massacre is no online. Click HERE.