Kin of Ampatuan Massacre victim reports presence of suspicious men outside home

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/11 December) – The family of one of the journalist-victims of the Ampatuan Massacre of November 23, 2009 has reported the presence of two suspicious-looking men outside their home in a town near Cagayan de Oro on December 9, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said in an alert issued December 11.
The alert, posted by NUJP Secretary-General Rowena Paraan and NUJP’s Mindanao Safety officer JB Deveza, revealed that Catherine Nunez, mother of Victor Nunez of UNTV, said neighbors told her husband that the two men came Thursday morning about 7 a.m. and again about 10 a.m. asking directions to the compound of the Nunez family.
The NUJP alert said “neighbors told her husband that the two burly men, who were on board a motorcycle, did not remove their motorcycle helmets while asking for directions” in “heavily accented Tagalog, about the layout of the roads within the vicinity of the Nunez home.”
Nunez said their neighbors first noticed men on board a motorcycle seemingly surveying the neighborhood a week ago but became suspicious when the men began asking specifically for directions to the Nunez family compound, the NUJP alert said.
“Nunez said she has reported the matter to the authorities but said no action has so far been made to provide security protection to the family,” it added.
Fifty-eight persons were killed in the worst pre-election violence in Philippine history, 32 of them from the media.
Witnesses have pointed to the influential Ampatuan clan as the perpetrators, with then Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. allegedly leading the armed men in stopping the convoy of relatives of then Buluan vice mayor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu and the media, in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao, herding them off to Sitio Masalay in Barangay Salman at the foothills of Daguma Range, and there killed them.
The convoy was on its way to the next town, Shariff Aguak, to file Mangudadatu’s certificate of candidacy for governor. Ampatuan Jr. had intended to run for governor, unopposed, as his father did in 2007.
Five persons in two vehicles that passed the highway at the wrong time were among those killed.
Ampatuan Jr. has been detained since November 26, 2009. The Ampatuan patriarch, then OIC Governor Andal Sr., his sons – then ARMM Governor Zaldy, then Shariff Aguak mayor Anwar Sr., and youngest son Sajid, who was elected vice governor in 2007 and was appointed OIC governor in January 2009 until his father took over shortly before the massacre – and a son in law have been detained since December 5, 2009.
Mangudadatu is now governor.
The progress of the case has been very slow.
At the commemoration rites during the first anniversary of the massacre at the massacre site itself on November 23, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima assured residents of Maguindanao that they have government’s commitment “to do all that we can” to convince the Supreme Court to allow live coverage of the trial” of the perpetrators of the now year-old Ampatuan Massacre, because “what is at trial are not just the accused, but our whole government system.”
“Until and unless justice has truly been done in this case, none of us could truly claim that the Filipino people have managed to reclaim their humanity,” said De Lima, who recalls having been to the site a few days after the massacre, in the company of forensics experts one of whom said the place reminded him of Rwanda.
The battle to bring those responsible for this “horror of horrors” is the quest of the entire Filipino people, she said, adding, “we have their (victims’) blood in our collective hands.” (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)

Kin of Ampatuan Massacre victim reports presence of suspicious men outside home
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/11 December) – The family of one of the journalist-victims of the Ampatuan Massacre of November 23, 2009 has reported the presence of two suspicious-looking men outside their home in a town near Cagayan de Oro on December 9, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said in an alert issued December 11.
The alert, posted by NUJP Secretary-General Rowena Paraan and NUJP’s Mindanao Safety officer JB Deveza, revealed that Catherine Nunez, mother of Victor Nunez of UNTV, said neighbors told her husband that the two men came Thursday morning about 7 a.m. and again about 10 a.m. asking directions to the compound of the Nunez family.
The NUJP alert said “neighbors told her husband that the two burly men, who were on board a motorcycle, did not remove their motorcycle helmets while asking for directions” in “heavily accented Tagalog, about the layout of the roads within the vicinity of the Nunez home.”
Nunez said their neighbors first noticed men on board a motorcycle seemingly surveying the neighborhood a week ago but became suspicious when the men began asking specifically for directions to the Nunez family compound, the NUJP alert said.
“Nunez said she has reported the matter to the authorities but said no action has so far been made to provide security protection to the family,” it added.
Fifty-eight persons were killed in the worst pre-election violence in Philippine history, 32 of them from the media.
Witnesses have pointed to the influential Ampatuan clan as the perpetrators, with then Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. allegedly leading the armed men in stopping the convoy of relatives of then Buluan vice mayor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu and the media, in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao, herding them off to Sitio Masalay in Barangay Salman at the foothills of Daguma Range, and there killed them.
The convoy was on its way to the next town, Shariff Aguak, to file Mangudadatu’s certificate of candidacy for governor. Ampatuan Jr. had intended to run for governor, unopposed, as his father did in 2007.
Five persons in two vehicles that passed the highway at the wrong time were among those killed.
Ampatuan Jr. has been detained since November 26, 2009. The Ampatuan patriarch, then OIC Governor Andal Sr., his sons – then ARMM Governor Zaldy, then Shariff Aguak mayor Anwar Sr., and youngest son Sajid, who was elected vice governor in 2007 and was appointed OIC governor in January 2009 until his father took over shortly before the massacre – and a son in law have been detained since December 5, 2009.
Mangudadatu is now governor.
The progress of the case has been very slow.
At the commemoration rites during the first anniversary of the massacre at the massacre site itself on November 23, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima assured residents of Maguindanao that they have government’s commitment “to do all that we can” to convince the Supreme Court to allow live coverage of the trial” of the perpetrators of the now year-old Ampatuan Massacre, because “what is at trial are not just the accused, but our whole government system.”
“Until and unless justice has truly been done in this case, none of us could truly claim that the Filipino people have managed to reclaim their humanity,” said De Lima, who recalls having been to the site a few days after the massacre, in the company of forensics experts one of whom said the place reminded him of Rwanda.
The battle to bring those responsible for this “horror of horrors” is the quest of the entire Filipino people, she said, adding, “we have their (victims’) blood in our collective hands.” (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)

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