Maguindanao massacre case witness faces murder charges

COTABATO CITY  -  One of the witnesses in the Maguindanao massacre case is wanted for the killing of a provincial jail warden in 1998.

Akmad Ampatuan, who served as witness in the case against the fifty additional suspects in the November 2009 Maguindanao massacre wherein 58 people including 32 journalists were killed, is facing charges for the killing of Maguindano provincial jail warden Alkein Mamalangkay in October 1998.

Regional Trial Court Judge Emmanuel Badoy has issued an arrest warrant against Ampatuan.

City Administrator Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi said Ampatuan is being coddled by Maguindanao Gov. Esmael 'Toto' Mangudadatu whom she tagged as behind the filing of murder cases against the 50 additional suspects including Sayadi.

She lambasted Mangudadatu of orchestrating the filing of charges against the additional massacre suspects many of whom belong to the opposition party.

"The governor has been harassing his perceived political opponents whom he cannot sway to join his administration," Sayadi said.

Sayadi is reportedly running against Maguindanao 1st district Rep. Bai Sandra Sema, Mangudadatu's political ally, in 2016 elections.

Mangudadatu has denied the charges saying Ampatuan was placed under the custody of the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice.  

The governor said based on the statements of the witnesses the additional 50 suspects were indicted for their involvement either in the execution, plotting and trying to cover up the massacre which was carried out by members of the political clan belonging to former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr.

Thousands of relatives and supporters of the newly-indicted massacre suspects led by Sayadi held a rally Thursday here. The protesters carried placards and streamers urging Mangudadatu to stop using the massacre case to harass his political opponents.


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