Maguindanao Governor Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his son, Zaldy Ampatuan, current governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, are plastered prominently in the news because they were tagged as the mastermind behind the horrific massacre in Maguindanao. The Vice-mayor of Buluan, Datu Ismail “Toto” Mangudadatu, planned to file his candidacy for the provincial governorship position. The Mangudadatu clan is a political rival of the Ampatuans. On November 23, his wife was en route to the capital to file on his behalf when their entourage, which included several relatives and quite a number of journalists, were ambushed and then killed by around 100 armed men.
This gruesome massacre brought to the national spotlight the problem of warlordism in certain parts of Muslim Mindanao. The Ampatuans have Maguindanao and surrounding areas in their hand and several members of the family hold key positions in the local government.
Thanks to BernieMack, I was made aware that Datu Andal Sr.‘s mansion is visible in Google Maps and here I now present it. This sprawling mansion is found in Shariff Aguak, the capital of Maguindanao. What’s pretty unique about this residence is that it has a mosque inside the grounds—it’s that white square-ish building that you can see on the satellite image thumbnail. According to Wikimapia, Zaldy’s mansion is found just to the east almost across the other side of the road. The opulence of these two men’s mansions only serve to highlight the fact that Maguindanao is one of the country’s poorest provinces.
If you want to learn more, and to see ground-level pictures of the mansion, check out BernieMack’s blog post of when he traveled through Maguindanao, and this special report by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.