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Criminal Charges Filed Against Accused in Maguindanao Massacre
"These charges are without basis. I am innocent," disgraced mayor told reporters.
The husband of one of the 57 massacred victims has filed multiple murder complaints before state prosecutors in General Santos City against Ampatuan Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr, a local mayor in Maguindanao province.
The accused came face to face with Esmael Mangudadatu, husband of one of the women murdered in the Maguindanao massacre. Philippine police filed murder charges last Thursday against the accused who was named as the main suspect in the massacre of 57 people, 27 of them media practitioners, in Maguindanao province, Mindanao Islands, Southern Philippines, as authorities moved to dismantle his clan's control over the region. Andal,Jr was fingered by witnesses as the leader of 100 armed men composed of local police forces and the clan’s heavily armed militia. One of the witness is believed to be part of the 100 armed men who was bothered by his concscience after the brutal and gruesome murders.
Mangugadatu's wife was able to call him thru her cell phone identifying the accused as the leader of the armed men. The former said his wife's genitals were slashed several times, both her eyes were pierced and her breasts and mouth were shot at close range.
“The charges are baseless," Ampatuan told reporters at the airport in General Santos City before he was processed for arraignment. "They are not true. My conscience is clear."
Meanwhile in Toronto, Canada a protest vigil scheduled for December 10, Thurday, 6-10 P.M. is hastily being organized by groups of human rights lawyers, journalists, church groups and community activists at the United Church, City Centre in time for International Human Rights Day. The day will be commemorated all over the world, for the victims of the Ampatuan massacre and to protest the imposition of Martial Law in Maguindanao. Sources here believe that Martial Law will not only worsen human rights violations in the Philippines but will also eradicate the crucial evidence leading to the perpetrators of the Maguindanao Massacre and those responsible for the massacre.