197 charged in maquindanao massacre – finally!
this is a long time coming and we thought it was forgotten. we have known for long that justice moves slow in the philippines. but this one is ridiculous given the how gruesome the murders were and the kind of attention it got from the public. you would think with what happened and the intense interest of the people on the case, this will move much faster than what is happening now.
197 charged with murder over Maguindanao massacre
Agence France-Presse, INQUIRER.net
First Posted 18:20:00 02/09/2010
MANILA, Philippines—A former close ally of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and 196 other people were on Tuesday charged with murder over an election-linked massacre that horrified the nation, prosecutors said.
Andal Ampatuan Sr., the head of a Muslim clan and the former governor of Maguindanao province where the slaughter of 57 people occurred last year, was among those charged, according to papers filed in a Manila court.
In total, 197 people were charged, including other senior clan members, local government officials and policemen who allegedly helped organize the killings, as well as thugs accused of abducting and shooting the victims.
“The confluence of events before and immediately after the commission of the offense leads us to no other inference than that respondents Andal U. Ampatuan, Sr., Datu Zaldy “Puti” U. Ampatuan, Datu Akmad “Tato” Ampatuan, Sr., Datu Norodin Ampatuan, and Datu Jimmy Ampatuan connived with the actual perpetrators,” prosecutors said in a lengthy report outlining their case against the group.
“There is direct evidence that these respondents agreed to commit the crime,” said the prosecutors led by Senior State Prosecutors Leo Dacera. “All the conspirators are answerable as co-principals regardless of the extent or degree of their participation.”
However, only 11 of those charged are in custody, with most of the others still on the run nearly three months after the November 23 killings, according to police.