Friday, November 27, 2009

Military Not Suspects in Mindanao Massacre

By Katherine Evangelista

Two ranking military officials have been relieved from their posts in Maguindanao to give way to "impartial and transparent investigations" on the gruesome murders Monday of at least 57 people in the province, the Philippine military said.

In a press briefing, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Romeo Brawner, Jr. said that 6th Infantry Division Commander Major General Alfredo Cayton and 601st Infantry Brigade Commander Colonel Medardo Geslani were relieved of duty effective Friday.

The order was made following complaints of alleged "inefficiency and inaction" in *handling the Maguindanao carnage*, Brawner said, even as he added the two were not suspects in the mass murders.

"Definitely, they are not suspects," he told reporters.

Brawner said the investigation on Cayton and Geslani, to be conducted by the Inspector General at the AFP general headquarters in Manila, would soon begin.

At least 57 people, including relatives and supporters of Buluan Vice-Mayor and Maguindanao gubernatorial aspirant Esmael Mangudadatu, and members of the media, were waylaid and killed in a gruesome massacre that sent shock waves across the world.

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