They’re falling one by one: Third fugitive Maguindanao massacre convict arrested
COTABATO CITY—Police in the Soccsksargen region on Tuesday (Jan. 28) announced the arrest on Monday (Jan. 27) of a fugitive convict in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre case in the border of Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao provinces.
The arrest was the third of a convict in the massacre case since the promulgation of the Quezon City court’s verdict on Dec. 19, 2019.
Acting on intelligence information, Lt. Col. Barney Condes, head of the police’s Regional Mobile Force Battalion, was sent by Brig. Gen. Alfredo Corpus, to head a team that would serve the arrest warrant on a former policeman Suari Esmail Pagabangan, one of those convicted of the mass murder of 57 people in the town of Ampatuan, Maguindanao province.
Condes said operatives swooped down early Monday on the hideout of Pagabangan in the boundary of Lambayong town, Sultan Kudarat and Sultan sa Barongis town, Maguindanao.
Condes said police got a tip that Pagabangan had been seen in the area. The information was validated after a week of surveillance, said Condes.
Pagabangan carries a P300,000 bounty on his head.
“He did not resist arrest,” Condes said.
Lt. Col. Nilo Capellan, police regional spokesperson, said Pagabangan would be presented to the Quezon City court that convicted him and dozens of others in the Maguindanao massacre case.
Corpus lauded the police team that carried out the arrest.
On Dec. 19, 2019, Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes, of the Quezon City RTC, convicted several members of the Ampatuan clan and their accomplices that included several policemen and civilian assets. Several others were acquitted.
After the ruling’s promulgation, the Philippine National Police (PNP) formed a tracker team to hunt down at least 80 others involved in the massacre who remained at large.
One of the convicts had been arrested last Jan. 6 and another on Jan. 9.
Edited by TSB
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