Another Ampatuan massacre suspect falls, denies involvement in carnage

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/24 August) – Another suspect in the 2009 Ampatuan massacre was arrested by Army and police personnel on Sunday in Maguindanao province, police said.

Chief Supt. Jimmy Daza, regional head of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Central Mindanao (CIDG-CENMIN), identified the suspect as Malaguial Tanuri.

Tanuri was arrested in Barangay Poblacion, Abdullah Sangki town at about 4 p.m. Sunday. He had an arrest warrant issued by Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Jocelyn Solis Reyes.

Daza said Tanuri assumed the alias Johari and had been driving a pedicab in Abdulla Sangki but government agents and the community itself suggested that he was the man in the list of wanted suspects.

Tanuri did not resist arrest and appeared bewildered when the operatives showed him that his photo was included in the photos of suspects in the Nov. 23, 2009 that left 58 people dead.

He denied any involvement in the bloodbath that implicated members of the powerful Ampatuan family as the masterminds.

Former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., one of the alleged masterminds, died on July 17 this year after suffering massive heart attack. His sons Andal Jr. and Zaldy and other suspects are being detained at a maximum security jail in the capital.

Tanuri was expected to be transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Army’s 5th Special Forces Battalion on Monday released a CCTV footage suggesting that the grenade launcher attack last week on its detachment in the city was deliberate.

The attack left a soldier dead and another one wounded.

The footage showed the soldiers had just finished checking on vehicles when the grenade landed and went off on the eastern side of the kiosk where Pfc Philip Parino, the casualty, was standing.

Passersby could be seen running away and vehicles speeding off after the blast.

Colonel Rannie Sevilla, 5th Special Forces battalion commander, said his unit knew the persons behind the attack.

He said they made the footage public to refute claims by a city official the blast was accidental and not fired from outside.

Sevilla ruled out the participation of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.  “Those behind [it] were organized crime groups involved in kidnapping, robbery, extortion and high profile crimes in the city.” (Ferdinand Cabrera/MindaNews)