Camp Bagong Diwa on lockdown on Ampatuan massacre judgment day

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Camp Bagong Diwa on lockdown on Ampatuan massacre judgment day
Police personnel line up as they enforce security measures ahead of the release of the verdict in the deadly Maguindanao massacre on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019.
Philstar.com / Erwin Cagadas

MANILA, Philippines — Tightened security measures are in place at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City hours before the long-awaited verdict on the 2009 Ampatuan massacre is announced.

Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 will hand down the decision on the gruesome slaughter that killed 58 individuals at the Quezon City Jail Annex Thursday after a decade-long trial.

Starting 6 a.m., the entire camp was placed on lockdown.

Everyone entering the camp premises went through tight security checks. 

Members of the police’s Civil Disturbance Management were stationed inside and outside the camp. 

Everyone entering the camp premises

Earlier, churchgoers attending Simbang Gabi at St. Joseph Parish inside Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan were asked to present identification cards.

Of the original 197 suspects, 101 individuals, including member of the powerful Ampatuan family, stand accused. Eighty people, meanwhile, have evaded arrest.

READ: 10 years since Maguindanao massacre, watchdog sees little change in safety protocols for journalists

Ten years ago, 58 people—including 32 media workers—who were on their way to the Commission on Elections office in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao to witness the filing of certificate of candidacy of then-gubernatorial candidate Esmael Mangudadatu were killed in broad daylight and dumped into roadside pits. 

Zaldy Ampatuan and his brothers Andal Ampatuan Jr. and Sajid Ampatuan are the principal accused in the November 23, 2009 massacre.

The mass killing is the considered the country’s worst political massacre and the single deadliest attack on journalists in the world.

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