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Alleged backhoe operator in Maguindanao massacre arrested in North Cotabato

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02:50 AM November 25th, 2012

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By: Edwin Fernandez, November 25th, 2012 02:50 AM

Maguindanao provincial Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu looks at mug shots of suspects during a press conference at Camp Crame police headquarters in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. The Philippine Police said they will seek the help of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, local government leaders and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines to facilitate the speedy arrest of the 92 remaining at large suspects in the massacre of 57 people in southern Maguindanao province in 2009. Mangudadatu’s wife and relatives were among those killed. AP/Aaron Favila

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Another suspect in the Maguindanao massacre fell into government hands in a remote village in North Cotabato, the police said.

The suspect, Bong Andal, a Maguindanaon and said to be the operator of the backhoe that dug the common graves of the massacre victims, was cornered in an entrapment operation by the Midsayap police, soldiers from the 40th Infantry Battalion and elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao at about 10 a.m. Saturday, a report from the Midsayap police said.

Andal was described as an employee of the Maguindanao provincial government and driver of heavy equipment, backhoe included.

Vigilant villagers helped authorities by providing them with information and photos of Andal, who has been living in Barangay Kapinpilan since 2009, the report said.

While he did not resist arrest when presented with three warrants of arrest issued by a Quezon City Court, Andal denied involvement in the massacre, the report added.

He is now under custody of the CIDG-ARMM.
On Friday, another suspect in the massacre was also arrested as he mingled with families and friends of some victims during the 3rd year commemoration of the carnage in Sitio Masalay in Barangay Salamn in Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

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