Maguindanao Massacre Perpetrators Found Guilty

December 20, 2019 | Top News

Maguindanao massacreFinally, after over 10 years, the families of the victims of the infamous Maguindanao Massacre got the justice they were hoping for in court. Just recently, Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes in Manila found Datu Andal Ampatuan Jr.; the primary accused, along with other members of the family and suspect, as guilty of the crime and have sentenced them to life in prison without parole.

 

Alongside those sentenced to life in prison with Datu Andal are his relatives including Datu Andal Unsay Ampatuan Jr., Datu Anwar Sajid Ulo Ampatuan, Datu Anwar Ipi Ampatuan Jr. Also included with them are 24 others including police superintendents and inspectors. Accessories to the crime include 15 other suspects and were given prison sentences that vary from six to 10 years in prison.

 

In a statement released to the press, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that justice has finally been served. He adds “we, of course, know that the principal accused here has been convicted but some of the accused have been acquitted. This is something that the prosecution has more or less anticipated. We’re happy with the decision of the court. We trust that the judge has very extensively examined the evidence and we trust in her impartiality in her rendition of this very important judgment.”

 

It has been a long battle indeed. The crime happened way back in Nov. 29, 2009. 58 people were killed in broad daylight and the victims included members of the press and members of the Ampatuan’s rival family, the Mangudadatus. Most of the victims were part of a convoy making its way to a local office wherein then Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu was to file for his certificate of candidacy.

 

According to witnesses, there was numerous armed guards situationed in checkpoints across the Ampatuan’s territory. When the convoy was stopped, the 58 unarmed passengers were brought atop the hills of Sitio Masalay where they were executed with heavy firearms. As per a memorandum, the victims were killed in “competitive fashion.” The victims were buried in three shallow graves which were found shortly after the crime was committed.

 

Since then, the families of the victims have been seeking for justice which the Ampatuans evaded easily due to their connections. While most of the suspects now remain behind bars, there are still others who are acquitted of the crime. It was a big victory for the families of the victims but there is still more to come – one of that is the planned motion for reconsideration.

 

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