Gloria Arroyo faces P16-M civil suit for Maguindanao massacre
() - November 22, 2011 - 10:58am

MANILA, Philippines - Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was arrested for alleged electoral sabotage, is facing another case, this time based on the massacre of 58 people in Ampatuan, Maguindanao province on Nov. 23, 2009.

Lawyer Harry Roque, who is representing 15 relatives of the victims of the Maguindanao massacre, said they will file before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court this afternoon a civil case against Mrs. Arroyo.

"Glora Macapagal Arroyo aided and abetted in the Ampatuan [massacre case]," Roque said. He said that the 15 relatives of the massacre victims will file the case at 1:30 p.m.

He said they ask the court to order Mrs. Arroyo to pay the 15 families of the masscre victims a minimum of P16 million in damages.

The lawyer said that Mrs. Arroyo should be ordered to compensate relatives of the massacre victims because she was responsible in the arming of the suspects in the gruesome killing and the issuance of an order that acknowledged "the legitimacy of the private armies of the Ampatuan clan."

He added that if not for Mrs. Arroyo, the Ampatuans would not have the "sense of impunity" which made them believe that they will not be held liable for any crime they will commit.

Roque also said that they are filing the civil case against Mrs. Arroyo under the rules of command responsibility because she was the commander-in-chief at the time of the massacre.

"Dahil siya ang pinakamataas sa AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines). Ang mga pumatay sa mga biktima na iyan ay ang mga sundalo at mga pulis, mga auxiliary forces ng military. Ang mga tao na ito ay under the jurisdiction of the President. Dapat nalaman ng Presidente ito," he said.

He added that they will cite in the civil case's information the testimony of Maguindanao Gov. Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu, who claimed that several members of Mrs. Arroyo's Cabinet warned him of the Ampatuans' capabilities when he was still planning to run for governor.

Mangudadatu's wife, his two sisters and 55 others, including journalists and supporters, were on their way to the provincial capitol in Shariff Aguak when they were blocked and brutally massacred by a large group of armed men in Ampatuan town.

The group was allegedly headed by then Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., who was allegedly acting on orders of his father and namesake, former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr.

The killing was supposedly related with Mangudadatu's plan to challenge the gubernatorial seat. -- Angelo L. Gutierrez

AMPATUAN AMPATUANS ANDAL AMPATUAN JR. ANDAL AMPATUAN SR. ANGELO L ARROYO MAGUINDANAO MANGUDADATU MRS. ARROYO
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