MANILA, Philippines—Another suspect in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre has been captured by government forces.
Kudza Uguia Masukat was arrested Thursday by agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Philippine Army in a joint police and military checkpoint in Midsayap town, North Cotabato province.
Masukat was the 106th individual arrested for involvement in the gruesome killing of 58 people, including 32 media workers, in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao, considered the worst case of election-related violence in in the country’s history.
A Quezon City regional trial court had ordered the arrest of 196 persons for the massacre, including members of the influential Ampatuan clan who allegedly masterminded the killings.
Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., spokesperson of the Philippine National Police, said Masukat would be immediately flown to Metro Manila and presented to Quezon City RTC Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.
“This latest accomplishment of our police forces is a testament to our resolve to arrest all suspects in the Maguindanao massacre and bring them to justice,” Cerbo said in a news briefing at Camp Crame.
He said the Department of the Interior and Local Government approved a P250,000 cash reward for Masukat’s arrest.
Supt. Godfrey Convento, CIDG chief in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said Masukat was driving a Honda motorcycle on his way to Datu Piang town in Maguindanao province when CIDG agents saw him.
He said a police asset had informed them of the suspect’s whereabouts and real identity as he was using the aliases “Datu Teng Ibrahim” and “Mustapha Ibrahim” to evade arrest.
“We are very sure that he is the same Kudza Masukat, whose picture appeared in a poster of wanted persons released by the PNP and DILG,” Convento said.
Upon monitoring his movement, Convento said they immediately sought the help of Army personnel in setting up a checkpoint in Barangay Tugal, where Masukat was accosted at about 10 a.m.
Cerbo, however, could not say what Masukat’s involvement in the massacre was.