BULUAN, Maguindanao (MindaNews/11 April) – A member of the Mangudadatu political clan of Maguindanao expressed alarm over the statement issued by United Nationalist Alliance presidential aspirant Vice President Jejomar Binay that the evidence against suspects in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre was weak.
“What evidence was he talking about?” Ibrahim Mangudadatu, former mayor of Buluan, Maguindanao and brother of Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu asked.
“The evidence in the Maguindanao massacre is strong and clear, and yet Binay said it’s weak, so what will happen if he wins? What are we waiting for, that Binay will win and the Ampatuans will be release? It’s frightening,” Mangudadatu said in Filipino on Saturday, April 9, during the visit of Davao City Mayor and presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte in Buluan.
Binay made the statement on April 5 as he endorsed the candidacy of Sajid Islam Uy Ampatuan, the youngest son of the late Andal Ampatuan, Sr. who was freed on bail in March last year after nearly five years of detention as one of the co-accused in the 2009 massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao.
Sajid is running for mayor of Shariff Aguak town in Maguindanao.
He and other family members, including his late father, were tagged as principal suspects in the massacre that left 58 people dead, 32 of them media workers.
Ibrahim and other relatives are supporting Duterte was the guest of honor and speaker during the 80th foundation day of Buluan on Saturday.
Other elected officials belonging to the Mangudadatu clan have thrown their support to Liberal Party bet Mar Roxas.
They are Gov. Mangudadatu, Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu of Maguindanao’s 2nd district, Assemblyman Khadaffy Mangudadatu of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Mayor Freddie Mangudadatu of Mangudadatu town.
Ibrahim explained his support for Duterte was personal in nature. He called the Davao mayor a family friend and one who has good vision for the Moro people.
Ibrahim was seen welcoming Duterte with the governor’s son Buluan Vice Mayor King Jhazzer Mangudadatu and Buluan Mayor Lorena Mangudadatu, Ibrahim’s wife.
Ibrahim recalled that Duterte showed sincerity in helping to find the victims particularly the media workers..
“He asked me to help find your colleagues until I found them in a shallow grave in Sitio Masalay, Barangay Salman, Ampatuan town, the engine of back hoe was still running when I reached the site, that thing I cannot forget in my whole life” he added.
The Ampatuan massacre in November 2009 is considered the worst election-related violence in Philippine history.
Ibrahim recalled being with Binay and Duterte in the same flight to Davao where the vice president asked him to run for ARMM governor under UNA.
He rejected Binay’s offer and said that if he would run, he would do so as an independent. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)