Presidential communications secretary Martin Andanar said the Mangudadatu family located the massacre site using a helicopter provided by Duterte, who was mayor of Davao City when the killings took place.
Jonathan de Santos/File
‘Resolution of Maguindanao massacre personal to Duterte’
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - November 26, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The resolution of the Maguindanao massacre case is “personal” to President Duterte, Malacañang said, as it expressed hope that the trial court would rule on the case soon.

Presidential communications secretary Martin Andanar said the Mangudadatu family located the massacre site using a helicopter provided by Duterte, who was mayor of Davao City when the killings took place.

“When the people who were about to bury the massacre victims saw the helicopter, they fled without finishing the burying of the 58 victims,” Andanar said in an interview with state-run Radyo Pilipinas last Saturday.

“That means, this is really personal to President Duterte,” he added.

Acting prosecutor general Richard Anthony Fadullon had announced that there could be a ruling on the case by first quarter of 2019, according to Andanar.

Fifty-eight persons – 32 of them journalists – died in the massacre, which has been regarded as the single worst attack on the press and the worst election-related violence in the country.

The victims were on their way to a local election office to witness the filing of the certificate of candidacy for then Buluan vice mayor Esmael Mangudadatu when they were flagged down and killed by gunmen in Ampatuan town.

The massacre prompted then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to place Maguindanao under martial law.

Members of the Ampatuan clan, political rivals of the Mangudadatus, were accused of ordering the killing.

Andanar expressed optimism that the reputation of the Philippines in relation to press freedom would improve despite the massacre.

The Philippines ranked fifth in the 2018 Global Impunity Index, which calculated the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population.

Andanar claimed that the ranking was an improvement because the Philippines used to be regarded as the second most dangerous place for journalists.

Last week, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the justice department is doing its “level best” to resolve the case.

GLOBAL IMPUNITY INDEX MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with