PNP readies transfer to Bicutan of all arrested accused in Maguindanao massacre

April 16, 2010 10:00 pm 

MANILA, April 16 – Police authorities are now finalizing arrangements for the transfer of all those charged with the gruesome Maguindanao massacre, including erstwhile Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr., to the Metro Manila District Jail (MMDJ) in Camp Bagong Diwa within the week in compliace to court order.

Task Force Maguindanao spokesman Sr. Supt. Benito Estipona said the police would first transfer the 52 suspects now under detention at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame while arrangements were being made in connection to the others, including the Ampatuans, who are under custody in Mindanao.

”Arrangements are already finalized for their transfer, immediate transfer to Bicutan,” said Estipona, referring to the 52 suspects now jailed at the PNP-Custodial Center.

Estipona said a court sheriff is now in General Santos City to serve the commitment order for four members of the powerful Ampatuan clan, including suspended Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan.

Estipona said he himself would proceed to Davao City to serve the commitment order for Andal Sr., who is under Army custody.

The Supreme Court earlier ordered the commitment of all those charged in the Maguinadano massacre to the MMDJ in Bicutan.

The PNP official expressed belief that all those charged in connection with the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre of at least 57 civilians and media practitioners would be transferred to Bicutan before the scheduled arraignment on Wednesday.

”We expect that before that day comes, all of the arrested accused are accounted for in Bicutan,” said Estipona.

Police authorities have already accounted 60 out of the 196 accused in the massacre.

Estipona said the PNP has dispatched 20 trackers teams to hunt down the 136 remaining at large.

”Each tracker team has specific targets to locate and arrest them, so we expect that in the coming days, more arrests will be made,” said Estipona.

The principal suspect in the massacre, Datu Unsay town Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., has already been transferred to the Bicutan jail facility after several months of detention at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) headquarters in Manila.(PNA) RMA/MM

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