The Ampatuan Clan is one of the most influential political clans in Mindanao, particularly in the province of Maguindanao. They belong to an old and powerful Moro clan who drove away the Spaniards and fought the Japanese during World War II. The family is known for stockpiling weapons for protection and as status symbol.
Prominent Clan Members in Politics
Although its name already wields political power around the province, it was not until 1986 that the Ampatuans became known nationally. Some of the prominent members in politics are as follows:
- Datu Andal Ampatuan, Sr. was the first to make a mark, formally entering politics after the People Power Revolution in 1986 when he was appointed officer-in-charge of Shariff Aguak by the Aquino administration. He became the elected governor of Maguindanao after defeating popular lawyer Zacaria Candao.
- Datu Andal Ampatuan, Jr. is the mayor of Datu Unsay, Maguindanao. He is the son of Datu Andal Ampatuan, Sr.
- Datu Akmad Ampatuan is the mayor of Mamasapano, Maguindanao. He is also the son-in-law of Datu Andal Ampatuan, Sr.
- Zaldy Ampatuan the governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the youngest ever to head the regional government.
- Anwar Ampatuan is the mayor of Sharif Aguak.
The clan was thrust into spotlight in November 2009 when a convoy led by the wife of Toto Mangudadatu, a prominent politician belonging to the influential Mangudadatu Clan was attacked by about 100 men on their way to Shariff Aguak town to file Certificates of Candidacy. 57 passengers of the convoy were later found dead. The Mangudadatu, who is a known political rival of the Ampatuans, accused the latter as the brain behind the killings.
- Clans War. Philippine Star. (Accessed on 24 November 2009).
- Maguindanao placed under state of emergency after massacre. GMA News TV. (accessed on 24 November 2009).