Latest Stories

Ampatuan henchmen making sure jailed masters still wield power, says Mangudadatu

AMPATUAN, Maguindanao–Henchmen of Ampatuan clan members, who are accused of involvement in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, continue to roam free and make sure the influence of their bosses do not diminish, according to Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu.

“The presence of the massacre suspects here are still strong despite their arrest because of their contract assassins, who freely roam the province despite the imposition of the state of emergency,” Mangudadatu said Friday on the third anniversary of the grisly killing of 58 people, including his wife Genalyn, other relatives and supporters, and 32 journalists, in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao on Nov. 23, 2009.

He said the henchmen made sure the people would follow the will of the detained Ampatuan members–particularly clan patriarch Andal Ampatuan Sr. and sons Zaldy and Andal Jr., the principal suspect–and their political choices.

“In the towns they control, we know the influence of Andal Ampatuan Sr. although he is already in jail. And if these people will not follow them, the family’s contract assassins may kill them,” Mangudadatu said.

Mangudadatu’s revelation came as private prosecutor Harry Roque claimed that members of the Ampatuan clan had allied themselves with the Mastura clan.

Mayor Tocao Mastura of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao is running in next year’s gubernatorial race against Mangudadatu.

Maguindanao Vice Gov. Dustin Mastura, a nephew of Tocao’s, said by phone that there was no truth to the reported alliance between his clan and the Andal Sr.-led faction of the Ampatuan clan.

“That is farthest from the truth,” he said.

The younger Mastura said if there was a politician who has been taking in members of the Ampatuan clan as allies, it was Mangudadatu himself.

“He was the one recommending Ampatuan clan members for membership into the Liberal Party, being the party provincial head,” Mastura said.

Mastura, however, agreed with Mangudadatu’s earlier statement that not all Ampatuans were involved in the massacre.

“So it is not wrong to become (an) ally with those not involved in the massacre. We can also have an Ampatuan for a candidate as long as he is clean,” Mastura said.

Mastura hinted that the detained Ampatuans still wield power despite the supposed involvement of its more influential members in the massacre.

“In one municipality for example, most residents are surnamed Ampatuan,” Mastura said.

He appealed against the conduct of witch hunt and to spare from persecution the people not involved in the massacre.

“The reality is being an Ampatuan or an opponent of the governor did not make anybody guilty of involvement in the massacre,” he said.

Mastura also warned against politicizing the Maguindanao massacre issue, saying what should be done is to serve justice to the victims and their kin as swiftly as possible. “The primary suspects are now in jail. What is left is to prosecute them for justice to be served,” he said.

Mastura said that as to politics, the performance of officials should become the people’s basis for electing them into office in next year’s elections.

“Let’s assess Toto’s (Mangudadatu’s nickname) performance for example. Has anything changed since he became governor in terms of governance and development? I guess none. The situation remains the same,” Mastura said.

As this developed, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front also denied coddling members of the Ampatuan clan suspected of involvement in the massacre.

“None of them are hiding inside our camps,” Von Al Haq, MILF spokesperson, said by phone.

“We have a standing order to our ground troops not to allow any of these suspects to join them or take refuge (inside MILF camps),” Al Haq added.

Inquirer Mindanao

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Ampatuan clan , Crime , government and politics , law and justice , Massacre , News , Regions

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • 4 Etihad passengers not yet located
  • DAR to complete installation of Luisita land reform beneficiaries in May
  • Ex-COA chief and co-accused in Arroyo plunder case nabbed
  • Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  • The ‘link diagram’ that killed ex-Bataan police officer
  • Sports

  • NLEX holds off Jumbo Plastic for a playoff berth
  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Lifestyle

  • A haven for steak lovers
  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • DOLE sees more Filipinos hired by South Koreans
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Marketplace