Mar 172015

More than five years after the November 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre, the Department of Justice was again conducting a preliminary investigation on the infamous killings, this time, however, involving a new set of suspects.

The preliminary probe was conducted following the filing of new multiple murder complaints by Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu and other victims’ relatives against 50 new suspects, which included town mayors of Maguindanao and 14 members of the Ampatuan clan.

“The new case will not cause a delay in the on-going trial of the first batch of the Maguindanao massacre case filed before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC),” Mangudadatu said.

Assistant State Prosecutor Niven Canlapan, head of the panel of prosecutors, said the DOJ was expecting a total of 43 complaints by April 7, during the second day of the preliminary investigation.,

The respondents were given until April 16 to submit their counter-affidavits.

Mangudadatu explained that they came up with the new batch of suspects based on witnesses’ testimonies during the five-year trial, as well as on new witnesses they had spoken with in September and October last year.

Named respondents in the new batch of murder complaints were:

  • Solicitor General of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and current City Administrator of Cotabato City Atty. Cynthia Guiani Sayadi;
  • Mamasapano, Maguindanao Mayor Benzar Ampatuan;
  • Jack Ampatuan Lumenda;
  • Sukarto “Manguten/Teng” Singh;
  • one Inspector Mariga of the Maguindanao police;
  • Samer “Mama” Uy;
  • Samsudin Ampatuan;
  • Kage Ali Midtimbang; Kage Melo Lumenda;
  • Farid Adas; Nanun Ampatuan;
  • Pandag Ampatuan;
  • Amerah Ampatuan Mamalapat;
  • Rebecca Ampatuan;
  • Reshal Santiago Ampatuan;
  • Dali “Kumander Boy” Kamendan;
  • Sahara Upam Ampatuan;
  • Rowel Santiago;
  • Kempar Silongan;
  • Kamsa “Kudta” Salik;
  • Sangutin Musa;
  • Daud “Kumander Kwatro” Kamendan;
  • Digo Mamalapat; Monir Asim Sr.;
  • Monng Ampatuan Asim;
  • Harris Ampatuan Macapendeg;
  • Kuka Ebos; Mautin Upam;
  • Tamano “Barakuda” Sabpa;
  • Borgo “Rey” Kasan;
  • Salahudin “Tho” Uday;
  • Hashim,“Mistro” Esmael;
  • Joel Tatak;
  • Rene Upam;
  • Kaking Inggo;
  • a certain police officer Biton;
  • Allandatu Angas;
  • Roger Mamalo;
  • Jainodin “Zainodin” Abutazil;
  • Manak Malaguial;
  • Kabili Sumagkang;
  • Ben Carandang;
  • Kage Sabog;
  • Abusama Simpal;
  • Kamad Ampatuan;
  • Faizal Ampatuan;
  • Kudzbari L. Ampatuan;
  • Kumander Ukay Simpal;
  • and several other John Does and Jane Does.

In their complaints, the victims’ families said “many witnesses came out to tell what they personally know about the horrible incident” after sensing a “change of political atmosphere” in Maguindanao.

The complainants, meanwhile, were worried over alleged efforts to silence the new witnesses, pointing to the attempt on Datu Salibo town Mayor Akmad Ampatuan’s life on December 10, 2014, and the November 18 killing of Denix Sakal and wounding of Sukarno “Butch” Saudagal.

The original batch of murder complaints involved more than 190 accused, including prominent members of the Ampatuan clan, including patriarch Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his three sons.

The suspects were accused of killing 58 people, including 32 journalists, who were in an electoral convoy that was supposed to register Mangudadatu in the 2010 gubernatiorial race. — DVM, GMA News

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