H.Con.Res. XX: Expressing sympathy for the 57 civilians who were killed in the southern Philippines on November 23, 2009

H.Con.Res. XX

Expressing sympathy for the 57 civilians who were killed in the southern Philippines on November 23, 2009

December 8, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

H.Con.Res. XXX is expected to be considered on the floor of the House under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) on December 8, 2009.

Bill Summary

H.Con.Res. XXX resolves that Congress:

•  "Regrets the senseless killing of unarmed civilians and expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the 57 victims;

•  "Condemns the culture of impunity that continues to exist among clans, politicians, armed elements, and other persons of influence in the Philippines;

•  "Calls for a thorough, transparent, and independent investigation and prosecution of those who are responsible for the massacre, including those who committed the killings and anyone who may have ordered them, and that the proceedings be conducted with the highest possible level of professionalism, impartiality, and regard for witness protection to assure the Filipino people that all the responsible persons are brought to justice;

•  "Calls for an end to extrajudicial killings and election-related violence;

•  "Calls for freedom of press and the safety of the reporters investigating the massacre;

•  "Urges the Departments of State and Justice and other United States Government agencies to review their assistance programs to the Government of the Philippines, and to offer any technical assistance, such as forensics support, that Philippine authorities may request; and

•  "Reaffirms the United States commitment to working alongside Philippine authorities to combat corruption, terrorism, and security threats."



According to the resolution's findings, on November 23, 2009, 57 unarmed civilians were killed in Maguindanao in the worst politically motivated violence in recent Philippine history. Those killed were on their way to file nomination papers on behalf of Ismael Mangudadatu, vice mayor of Buluan, in advance of an upcoming election. The Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists reports that at least 30 journalists and media workers were killed in the massacre. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared a state of emergency in Maguindanao the day after the massacre, vowing that ‘‘no effort will be spared to bring justice to the victims.''