The Ampatuans and their associates had 597 bank accounts, 500 hectares of real property assets, 130 motor vehicles, 420 firearms, and a private army many hundreds strong. Their scions now stand accused in the murder of 58 persons, including 32 journalists and media workers, in the Ampatuan Massacre of Nov. 23, 2009.
Judgment day by the court comes tomorrow for the 197 accused of multiple murder of 58 persons, including 32 journalists and media workers, in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao, on Nov. 23, 2009. For 10 years now, the widows and orphans of those killed had longed for justice.
There is, according to defense lawyers, not enough evidence to convict Datu Unsay Ampatuan. for the massacre of 58 persons. His lawyer said neither the bullets nor the guns used in the massacre were presented in court, and that the prosecution presented “incentivized witnesses” who testified in exchange for money or favors, or were relatives of the Mangudadatus.
The Ampatuans, according to prosecution witnesses, had planned to murder Toto Mangudadatu as early as July 2009, when he declared he was running for governor to contest the Ampatuans' control over Maguindanao province.