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Maguindanao Massacre

7 policemen face dismissal over 'neglect' in Maguindanao massacre

December 19, 2009 11:46am

Seven police officers of the Maguindanao Police Provincial Office (PPO) face dismissal for “serious neglect of duty" at the height of the Maguindanao massacre on November 23, said a report from the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Recommended for summary dismissal by the PNP high command are Superintendent Abusama Mundas Maguid, Officer in Charge (OIC) of the Maguindanao PPO; Chief Inspector Sukarno Adil Dikay, Deputy Provincial Director; Inspector Armando Sanday Mariga of the 1506th Provincial Mobile Group (PMG); Inspector Saudi Matabalao Mokamad of the 1507th PMG; Inspector Rex Ariel Tabao Diongon of the 1508th PMG; Senior Inspector Abdulgapor Benasing Abad of the 15th Regional Mobile Group; and SPO2 Badawi Piang Bakal of the Ampatuan Municipal Police Station.

The Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division (RIDMD) in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) said that they had been trying to verify radio reports that 50 people had been murdered in Ampatuan in the morning of November 23, but the Maguindanao PPO insisted that “no such incident has transpired in their area of jurisdiction" and called the radio reports “exaggerated".

The PNP report added that the RIDMD then dispatched their own team to Maguindanao to verify the news of the killings, which turned out to involve at least 57 people, including the wife of Buluan vice mayor Esmael Mangudadatu and 30 journalists. The victims were en route to file Mangudadatu's certificate of candidacy for governor in Shariff Aguak town, a known bailiwick of the powerful Ampatuan clan that has since been implicated in the massacre.

The RIDMD’s report to the PNP added that “other police officers and their men were present along the highway and were situated from 2 kms to 5 kms from where the actual abduction and eventual murders took place, and yet the subject police officers claimed to have not noticed anything unusual, nor heard bursts of gunfire, emanating from the killing fields."

“Hence, it strengthens the presumption that they were trying to cover up the crime committed," the RIDMD report added.

The officers are accountable under Executive Order (EO) No. 226, which says that “any government official or officer of the PNP or that of any law enforcement agency shall be held accountable for “Neglect of Duty" under the Doctrine Of Command Responsibility, if he has knowledge that a crime or an offense shall be committed, is committed, or has been committed by his subordinates, or by others within his area of responsibility, and, despite such knowledge, he did not take preventive or corrective action either before, during or immediately after its commission," the RIDMD report said. - Nikka Corsino / TJD, GMANews.TV
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