PNP vows swift justice to victims of Maguindanao massacre

November 25, 2009 12:09 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 25 – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday vowed swift justice to the victims of the gruesome Maguindanao massacre, which include at least three members of a political clan and more than a dozen media practitioners.

PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina said government authorities, particularly the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), are now in total control of Maguindanao following President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s declaration of state of emergency in the province and nearby Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City.

”We would like to give justice immediately in this massacre,” said Espina.

”The general idea of state of emergency is to hold the area under PNP and AFP,” added Espina.

Latest update showed that elements of the PNP’s Scene of the Crime Operatives (Soco) have already unearthed 26 more bodies from shallow grave in a remote area in Barangay Salman, Ampatuan town. This brings to 46 the total people killed during the incident.

Among those killed were members of the Mangudadatu clan – Genalyn Mangudadatu, the wife of Buluan Vice Mayor Esmail Mangudadatu, his elder sister Bai Farina Mangudadatu, and youngest sister Eden Mangudadatu, who is also the incumbent vice mayor of Mangudadatu town.

Esmail Mangudadatu asked his wife to file his certificate of candidacy for governor of Maguindanao to the provincial capitol in Shariff Aguak.

The group of Mangudadatu, however, were stopped along a checkpoint in Barangay Saniag in Ampatuan town and were brought to the remote area of Barangay Salman where the gruesome slaying was done.

More than a dozen media practitioners, who were invited to cover the event, were also killed.

”We need the cooperation of the witnesses,” said Espina, as he cited ongoing investigation of the case to punish those responsible. “Everything is under process to disarm those involved in this case.”

No less than PNP chief Director General Jesus Verzosa flew to Maguindanao on Tuesday to supervise ongoing investigation and pursuit operations against the perpetrators of the brutal killing.

Esmail Mangudadatu has tagged the Ampatuan clan, particularly Datu Unsay town Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., as behind the massacre.(PNA) LDV/MM

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