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Arroyo cleared of negligence rap over Maguindanao massacre


09:35 PM February 3rd, 2013

By: Leila B. Salaverria, February 3rd, 2013 09:35 PM

Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Manila Prosecutors Office has ruled that former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is not criminally liable for the Maguindanao massacre that left 58 people dead, according to a statement from Arroyo’s office.

Prosecutors dismissed a criminal negligence case filed against Arroyo by Marconi Abdulaziz Paiso, a candidate for vice governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the statement issued on Sunday showed.

Paiso had alleged that Arroyo was liable for the massacre for having failed in her duties as president and commander in chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  Paiso contended that her “inaction, ignorance and perhaps tolerance” contributed to the “tense political situation” in Maguindanao that led to the killings.

On Nov. 23, 2009, around 100 armed men reportedly led by Andal Ampatuan Jr. waylaid a convoy comprised of supporters of the clan’s political rival, Esmael Mangudadatu, and killed everyone in the group—including 32 media representatives.

The Ampatuans were known political allies of Arroyo.

But Manila prosecutors found no reason to hold the former president liable for negligence in the massacre, saying the allegations against her consisted of general statements not backed by proof.

The statement from Arroyo’s office, coursed through her spokesperson Elena Bautista Horn, quoted the resolution issued by Assistant City Prosecutor Wilbur Arimboyutan and approved by Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Raymunda Cruz Apolo.

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