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Maguindanao Massacre

Mangudadatu: 'High-profile politician' behind slay try

October 13, 2011 3:36pm
Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu claimed that a "high-profile politician" was behind the assassination attempt against him in Sultan Kudarat, where a car bomb exploded killing two people, including his close friend.

In a recent interview with reporters, Mangudadatu said the arrested suspect Datu Karim Masdal has already revealed the name of the person behind the bombing.

The governor however said he would not divulge the name of the mastermind until the detained suspect shall have executed an affidavit about his confessions. This could not be immediately verified with the Sultan Kudarat police independently.

The supposed assassination attempt happened last August 15 when an explosive placed in a car went off along a national highway in Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat, while the convoy of Mangudadatu was passing close by.

Two people were killed in the incident, one of them a Maguindanao board member who was with the convoy.

Mangudadatu had suspected the blast was meant as a "gift" for his 43rd birthday, which he celebrated on the same day the incident happened.

Interestingly, Mangudadatu shares the same birthday as former Datu Unsay town mayor and massacre suspect Andal Ampatuan Jr.

Along with his father and brothers, Andal Jr. is facing 57 counts of murder for the November 23, 2009 massacre in Ampatuan town in Maguidanao.

A total of 57 people, including 32 journalists were killed, while one photojournalist remains missing. Mangudadatu's wife and two sisters were among the slain victims.

Mangudadatu said relatives of the other massacre victims could not afford to lose him in another ambush.

"Baka mawalan na ng pag-asa ang ibang mga kamag-anak ng biktima, kapag napatay ako," Mangudadatu said.

Suspended Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. and fellow massacre suspect Zaldy Ampatuan has already denied having a hand in the car bombing.

Zaldy he has yet to be arraigned due to his pending petition before the Court of Appeals seeking for the withdrawal of the charges. — LBG, GMA News
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