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.
Ombudsman Martires knew that as a public official with expertise and mandate on the issues raised, he was speaking face to face with a journalist with a legitimate journalistic purpose, on a matter of public interest. The conversation occurred in a public space and even with the full knowledge and in full view of his own personnel from the Office of the Ombudsman.
Rodrigo R. Duterte is a most secretive President when it comes to the details of his wealth. To this day, eight months after the April 30 deadline for filing, he has not released a copy of his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) for 2018. By all indications, Duterte sticks out as the lie of his own Freedom of Information (FOI) edict.
The Ampatuans were Arroyo’s anointed lieutenants in ARMM, their alliance built largely on largesse. But the cash bonanza that Maguindanao secured from Arroyo failed dismally to alleviate the misery of the poor. Its poverty numbers grew parallel to the surge in the wealth of the Ampatuans, a clan given to flaunting its wealth, weapons, and wheels.