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Suspect in Philippine massacre arrested

/ 11:19 PM November 02, 2012

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COTABATO, Philippines—Philippines authorities have arrested another man in relation to the country’s worst political massacre which left 58 people dead in 2009, a police official said on Friday.

Abedin Alamada was arrested at his farm in the southern island of Mindanao on Thursday and will now face trial for murder following the shocking killings in the strife-torn region.

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Senior Superintendent Randolf Delfin said Alamada was an armed follower of the powerful Ampatuan clan whose members have been accused of carrying out the massacre to prevent a local rival from running for governor against one of them.

“Our informant said Alamada was involved in the actual execution of the crime in 2009,” said Delfin.

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Gunmen loyal to the Ampatuans allegedly stopped and gunned down a convoy– including relatives of a rival politician, their lawyers and accompanying journalists— in Maguindanao province, a stronghold of the clan.

Ampatuan clan leaders are among 75 people currently on trial for the killings, but proceedings are expected to take years to complete.

Meanwhile, more than 90 suspects, mostly clan gunmen, remain at large, fuelling concerns that victims of the murders and their relatives will never see justice.

Delfin said the informant told the police that Alamada was hiding in a rural farm and that they nabbed him after a three-day stakeout.

Alamada told reporters he was an armed follower of the Ampatuans but said he was in the hospital for a kidney ailment at the time of the massacre and only learned of it later.

The suspect, who had a bounty of 250,000 pesos ($6,100) on his head, will be flown to Manila to be tried for the crime.

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TAGS: Abedin Alamada, Ampatuan, Maguindanao massacre, Philippine elections
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