Mangudadatu scores Zaldy Ampatuan’s hospital treatment
GENERAL SANTOS CITY –– Former Maguindanao governor and Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu on Thursday questioned the supposedly “special treatment” accorded former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor Zaldy Ampatuan, one of the principal accused in the infamous Maguindanao massacre in 2009.
Mangudadatu urged the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to produce proof that Ampatuan “is seriously sick.”
Ampatuan is among the principal suspects in the November 23, 2009 massacre that killed 58 people, including 32 media workers.
Mangudadatu’s wife Genalyn and several female family members were among those killed in the country’s worst election-related violence, and the single deadliest attack against media workers in the world.
“Zaldy, I learned last week, was also allowed to get out by the BJMP for medical attention. There should be a clear proof that he is suffering from a serious illness before he is allowed to seek medical attention outside the jail,” Mangudadatu told the Inquirer by phone.
Also, Ampatuan’s medical treatment outside the jail must be covered with a court order, he added.
On Wednesday, BJMP spokesperson Xavier Solda said that Ampatuan was rushed to the hospital on Monday afternoon due to cardiovascular disease.
Physicians declared that Ampatuan was in a stable condition, the official said.
Mangudadatu noted that Ampatuan must not be allowed to just get out for medical treatment without a court order because he is a “high-profile” suspect.
But if Ampatuan has a proven serious medical condition, Mangudadatu said he would not complain out of humanitarian consideration.
Last year, Ampatuan was able to attend his daughter’s wedding at a posh hotel in Manila after securing a court order.
With less than a month before the 10th anniversary of the infamous massacre, Mangudadatu noted how the trial moved slowly, expressing hope a verdict could be issued soon.
“We are expecting a guilty verdict for the principal suspects,” he said, also referring to Datu Andal Ampatuan Jr.
Ampatuan Jr., former mayor of Datu Unsay town, was tagged as the leader of the gunmen who stopped and massacred the members of the convoy in a hilly portion of Ampatuan town.
The victims were en route to Shariff Aguak town to file Mangudadatu’s certificate of candidacy for governor, virtually challenging the Ampatuan’s grip on power.
Patriarch Andal Ampatuan Sr., former Maguindanao governor and also a principal suspect, died in 2015 while in custody due to an illness.
Mangudadatu said they “have overwhelming evidence and testimonies of witnesses that would pin down the principal suspects for the grisly massacre.”
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