DOJ OKs murder raps vs Ampatuan Sr, 196 others
Manila (9 February) -- THE Department of Justice on Tuesday recommended the filing of 57 counts of murder against former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. and 196 others linked to the gruesome massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao last November 23.
In a 78-page resolution, the DOJ eight-man panel of investigation prosecutors led by Senior State Prosecutor Leo Dacera said "the confluence of events before and immediately after" the massacre took place led them to conclude that Ampatuan Sr., his son Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Datu Zaldy "Puti" U. Ampatuan, Datu Akmad "Tato" Ampatuan, Sr., Datu Norodin Ampatuan, and Datu Jimmy Ampatuan connived with the actual perpetrators.
The panel said evidence on record showed that the respondents instigated the plan to ambush members of the Mangudadatu clan on their way to the office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Cotabato City to file the certificate of candidacy of Esmael Mangudadatu for the gubernatorial post in Maguindanao.
Aside from the murder charges, Ampatuan Sr. and the 196 accused are also facing rebellion charges for allegedly mobilizing supporters to resist, defy and undermine security forces who were investigating the massacre last November. (PIA) [top]