PNP says preparing for release of Maguindanao Massacre court decision

maguindanao massacre
In this file photo taken November 2018, families and journalists gather in Ampatuan, Maguindanao to mark the ninth year since the massacre.
Philstar.com / Jonathan de Santos

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police said Monday it was preparing for the promulgation of judgment on the bloody 2009 Maguindanao massacre, adding that it has intensified efforts to arrest suspects who are still on the run.

Fifty-eight people — at least 34 of them were journalists —were killed in an ambush in Maguindanao province that watchdogs described as the single deadliest incident involving media practitioners.

Ahead of the release of the ruling on the decade-old case on December 19, PNP spokesman Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac said “efforts are ongoing and being intensified for the arrest of suspects who are still at large.”

Banac added that Metro Manila police has been ordered to secure the Quezon City Jail Annex at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, for the scheduled promulgation of judgment by Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.

While the PNP has not received any request for additional security, Banac said the police are ready to provide extra protection to Solis-Reyes should she ask for it.

Multiple murder cases were filed against over 100 suspects—including members of the Ampatuan clan—over the 2009 massacre.

The victims were on their way to an election office to witness the filing of nomination papers of then gubernatorial candidate Esmael Mangudadatu, a rival of the Ampatuan political dynasty, when the ambush happened.

Members of the Ampatuan clan were tried for the case. Datu Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan Jr. and Zaldy Ampatuan are the primary accused in the case.

Ampatuan patriarch Andal Sr.—alleged mastermind in the killings—died in July 2015.  Ian Nicolas Cigaral

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