Massacre suspect shot dead, another capturedBy Edwin Fernandez
COTABATO CITY—Police shot dead a suspect in the Maguindanao massacre when he resisted arrest and engaged them in a gun battle in Datu Unsay, Maguindanao, while another suspect was arrested in a separate operation in another town of the province, authorities reported on Saturday.
Senior Supt. Melecio Mina, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), said police tried to serve a warrant of arrest on Maguid Amil in Datu Unsay at around 2 p.m. on Friday but the suspect lobbed a grenade at the lawmen instead.
When the grenade failed to explode, Amil fired his handgun, prompting the policemen to fire back, Mina said.
As a result, Amil, 42, was seriously wounded and later died at the Maguindanao provincial hospital in Shariff Aguak town, he said.
Datu Odin encounter
On the same day, another Maguindanao massacre suspect was arrested by government troops who were alerted by tipsters who sighted him in Datu Odin town, also in Maguindanao.
Col. Dickson Hermoso of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division said Nasser Guia, 45, was the 101st massacre suspect to fall.
Hermoso said a combined police and Army team acting on a tip from locals caught up with Guia in the Datu Odin public market.
“He did not resist,” Hermoso said.
Guia, who was on the list of over 100 persons wanted in connection with the massacre and carried a bounty of P250,000 on his head, is detained at the Maguindanao police provincial headquarters in Shariff Aguak.
Police identified Amil as among the militiamen under the control of Maguindanao massacre main suspect Andal Ampatuan Jr.
Both Guia and Amil were allegedly part of the private army of the powerful Ampatuan clan who stopped a rival political group’s convoy and herded dozens to an isolated hillside where they were gunned down.
“Both Amil and Guia were among those who flagged down the convoy in November 2009 and were among those who herded the victims to the massacre site,” said Mina, quoting eyewitnesses.
Ampatuan was the mayor of Datu Unsay, a Maguindanao town created and named after him by the ARMM legislative assembly, when the massacre—which claimed the lives of 58 persons, including more than 30 journalists—took place.
Ampatuan, his father former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr., his brother former ARMM Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan, along with dozens of other suspects were arrested a few weeks after the killings.
The massacre shocked the nation, forcing then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to crack down on her former allies, the Ampatuans. Seventy-five suspects, including key clan members, are on trial for the mass killing.
However, more than three years later, dozens of other suspects, including members of the Ampatuan clan, remain at large, raising fears they will intimidate witnesses while maintaining the Ampatuans’ influence in Maguindanao. With an AFP report