Abdul Manan Manalasal
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Mindanao stories: The governor

Mindanao is a beautiful island in the southern Philippines, yet one of the most violent parts of Asia. In and around the city of Cotabato, there are several rebel groups, extortion and kidnap gangs, and clans with their own private armies. There are also tens of thousands of people trying to live a normal life.

This year the main rebel group signed a roadmap for peace with the government - but what will this mean for those living there?

Esmael Mangudadatu is the governor of Maguindanao province, just south of Cotabato City and one of the most troubled parts of the region.

Not only are rebels known to operate in Maguindanao, it was also the scene of one of the worst massacres in Philippine history - a crime attributed to the long-standing family feuds in the area.

Members of the Ampatuan family are currently on trial for the murders - the victims included members of Mr Mangudadatu's own family.

  • 20 Dec 2012