Friday, November 27, 2009

Massacre in Maguindanao Points to Mayor Ampatuan

By Jocelyn Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer

A government team tasked to investigate the slaughter of 57 people in Maguindanao is quietly obtaining depositions from witnesses that appear to point to Andal Ampatuan Jr. as prime suspect, officials said.

Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno also disclosed in a briefing at Camp Crame that aside from Ampatuan, four police officials had been placed under "restrictive custody" in connection withMonday's massacre.

They were Senior Supt. Agusana Maguid, acting police director of the Maguindanao police office; Chief Insp. Sukarno Dicay, acting deputy provincial police director; Senior Police Officer 2 Badawi Bakal, officer in charge of the Datu Ampatuan police station; and Senior Insp. Ariel Diongon, officer in charge of the provincial mobile group.

Puno said the four policemen, who were airlifted to Manila via a commercial flight, had been identified by witnesses as among those who were present at the scene of the massacre.

Two other police officials—Insp. Armando Mariga and Insp. Saudi Mokamad, also of the provincial mobile group—are also suspected of having participated in the killings. Both have been issued administrative relief.

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