Mangudadatu hopes 2009 massacre accused get convicted
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines — Maguindanao Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu is hoping the court will convict all those accused of involvement in the 2009 massacre, in which his wife and his relatives were among the 58 people killed.
“I hope they all get convicted — the one who planned it, executed the crime, and all the other accomplices,” Mangudadatu, speaking in Filipino, told the Inquirer by phone.
Ten years after the bloody massacre, the case has been submitted for decision, and Mangudadatu is praying hard that no one will be spared because of their influence and money.
On Nov. 23, 2009, 58 individuals, including 32 members of the press, were massacred when they joined relatives and supporters of then Buluan, Maguindanao Vice Mayor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu in a motorcade to the Commission on Elections office in Shariff Aguak town to file his certificate of candidacy for governor.
The family of then Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr., who are also Mangudadatu’s blood relatives, are accused of masterminding the massacre.
On Nov. 23 will be the 10th year since the grisly incident, which is also the time government prosecutors expect the court to issue its decision on the case.
When the case began in 2010, it was widely touted as a showcase of the Philippine justice system’s turtle-paced grind, with even legal luminaries estimating that case will last for at least 100 years.
But Mangudadatu said: “I am happy with this development. I hope there will be a good decision. A good decision means they will all be made to pay for the crime.”
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