The long arm of the law has finally caught up with two of the more than 100 persons linked to the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.
On Friday, a suspect who once served as member of the Maguindanao Civilian Volunteer Organization, an armed group organized by former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr., was shot dead by government security forces after he resisted arrest.
Armed with arrest warrants, operatives of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) and the Army’s 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion, informed Maguid Amil, 42, that he was being arrested for his alleged involvement in the massacre.
Senior Supt. Melecio Mina, CIDG chief in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
(ARMM), however, said Amil, of Barangay Iginagampong, Datu Unsay, Maguindanao, resisted and tossed a hand grenade at lawmen who surrounded his home at around 2 p.m.
The grenade did not explode but officers fired back, killing Amil, he added.
Elsewhere in Maguindanao on Friday, another suspect, Nasser Guia, was arrested by police acting on a tip-off, Mina said.
Both Guia and Amil were allegedly part of the private army of the powerful Ampatuan clan who stopped a rival political group’s convoy and herded dozens to an isolated hillside where they were murdered.
“Both Amil and Guia were among those who flagged down the convoy in November, 2009 and were among those who herded the victims to... the massacre site,” said Mina, citing eyewitnesses.
Army Col. Dickson Hermoso, speaking for the military’s 6th Infantry Division, said CIDG operatives and soldiers arrested Guia, 45, at the town’s public market.
He did not resist arrest but denied involvement in the 2009 carnage.
Guia, who carries a P250,000 reward for his arrest, was also a member of the Maguindanao CVO, a paramilitary unit under the supervision of then Maguindanao Gov. Ampatuan Sr.
Hermoso said the arrest was carried out after three weeks of covert operations by joint police and military forces in Maguindanao.
Ampatuan Sr. and six of his children and relatives are now detained at a government detention facility in Manila facing multiple murder charges.
The slain and the arrested suspects were the 100th and 101st men linked to the carnage that are now into government hands.
The killing of members of the rival clan, lawyers, journalists and even by-standers, was apparently intended to prevent a rival candidate from running against an Ampatuan in elections in May 2010.
The massacre shocked the nation, forcing then President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to crack down on her former allies, the Ampatuans.
Originally, only 57 persons were listed as victims of the massacre but a 58th person was confirmed by authorities last year to be among the fatalities even if his body was never recovered.
Although key Ampatuan clan members are now being tried for the crime, more than three years later, dozens of other suspects remain at large, raising fears they will intimidate witnesses while protecting the clan’s interests.
The trial is seen as a test of whether the Philippines can abolish the “culture of impunity” surrounding powerful figures who feel they can commit crimes without fear of punishment.
Government lawyers and human rights advocates warn that the trial could take years due to delaying tactics by some of the wealthy defendants and the overburdened legal system.
With PNA and AFP
The traditional observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day was generally peaceful with no major untoward incidents reported.
However, the entire Philippine National Police (PNP) force will remain in full alert status, PNP chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome disclosed yesterday.
The full alert status will be maintained since thousands of people are expected to return to Manila and other places after spending the long-weekend vacation in their respective provinces.
As this developed, the PNP will still monitor the country’s peace and order situation although security measures are in place.
Bartolome attributed the generally peaceful and orderly situation to the advance preparations laid out by PNP units to ensure public safety for motorists, commuters and people paying respects to their departed loved ones.
“I am satisfied with the overall outcome of our security operations for Undas 2012 and I extend the congratulations of President Aquino and Secretary Mar Roxas to all 148,000 officers and men of the PNP for another job well done,” Bartolome said.
The PNP chief expressed satisfaction over the security preparations of PNP units even as he instructed PNP unit commanders to remain in their posts to assist motorists and commuters returning to the urban centers from the provinces after the four-day Halloween holiday.
Bartolome himself made the rounds of public transport terminals and cemetries yesterday to personally assess the situation on the ground.
A day before All Saints’ Day, Bartolome inspected PNP units deployed in a bus terminal in Pasay City, NAIA Terminal 2, and the Manila South Cemetery.
Bartolome also inspected last Nov. 1 the Manila North Cemetery, Loyola Memorial Park Marikina, NAIA Terminal 3 and Cubao bus terminal.
Meanwhile, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Leonardo Espina disclosed there was no untoward incident reported so far in NCR.
According to Espina, all units of the PNP are still on heightened alert since thousands of people are expected to go back to the metropolis after some days of vacation to their provinces.
Espina claimed the heightened alert will be up until after Undas and then they will assess whether to lower the alert level.
The NCRPO chief said no untoward incident was recorded in cemeteries all over the country.
As of 9 a.m. yesterday, police said visitors at the Manila North Cemetery reached 10,000.
Fewer people are entering the cemetery’s gates compared to the influx of people on All Saints’ Day on Thursday, which was estimated at 200 persons per minute.
Fewer visitors are also expected to troop to the Manila South Cemetery in Makati and Manila Memorial Park.
The Manila South Cemetery reported around 50,000 visitors stayed overnight.
The Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque disclosed that an estimated 450,000 people went to the place.
Tuesday, 02 October 2012 00:00 Published in Metro
The Philippine National Police-Firearms and Explosives Office (PNP-FEO) has ordered the revocation of the licenses and permits to carry firearms outside residence of a fake National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agent, for charges for estafa thru falsification of commercial documents and also for allegedly threatening to kill the Provincial Prosecutor of Cavite.
Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta FEO chief disclosed that Resolution No. 2012-093 dated Sept. 27 ordered the immediate seizure of 10 high-powered firearms registered under the name of Victor Arcilla Murillo, a “scrapper” from Tanza, Cavite .
Cavite PNP Provincial Director Senior Supt. John Bulalacao, upon receipt of the order on the same day, immediately sent policemen at Murillo’s residence. Seized from Murillo in the evening of Sept. 27 were: a .45 pistol, one AK 47 rifle, two armalite rifles, one shotgun, one 357 revolvers, two 40 caliber pistols, a Glock .40 pistol and a shotgun.
Cavite Provincial Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco earlier wrote Director General Nicanor Bartolome and NBI Director Nonatus Rojas requesting that Murillo’s gun licenses be revoked as Murillo is falsely introducing himself as an NBI Agent and using his (Velasco) name in his alleged illegal activities such as gunrunning and illegal disposal of waste products at Cavite.
Velasco added that Murillo had sent text messages to him threatening him and even dared him to have his house raided. Velasco quoted one of the text messages as “cge pa raid mo ako.”
The number is listed under Murillo’s regular business phone as confirmed by several witnesses.
Another message was sent thru another number stating “Isasama kita sa hukay ni Col. Vina pati anak mong si Karl.” Col. Vina, a suspect in the Dacer-Corbito slay, was ambushed several years ago at Tanza, Cavite while he was at a gathering with Prosecutor Velasco and several others.
Rojas confirmed to Velasco that “Murillo is neither a regular or confidential agent of the Bureau.”
Petrasanta justified the cancellation of licenses after “Cavite provincial prosecutor alleged to have been threatened to be liquidated and his family by Mr. Murillo after he exposed his illegal activities.”
Petrasanta added in his Resolution that “Likewise, spouses Ma. Cecilia Fernandez and his husband will also be liquidated allegedly by Mr. Murillo for having filed Syndicated Estafa and Falsification of Documents against Murillo” before the Cavite Provincial Fiscal’s Office. Ms. Fernandez filed the complaints against Murillo before the Cavite Prosecutor’s Office last year for allegedly duping her in the amount of P800,000.
She alleged that she ordered and paid in advance the amount for several rolls of fabric but Murillo failed to deliver the products.
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