DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/17 September) – A self-confessed close friend of former secretary Jesus Dureza who tried to defend the latter from accusations he received P10 million for the dismissal of a rebellion case against former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan St., resorted to gay-bashing in an apparent attempt to discredit the witness who testified against Dureza.
Ampatuan Sr., a principal suspect in the Nov. 23, 2009 Ampatuan Massacre, was also charged with rebellion after he and some family members allegedly plotted an uprising against the government that was then investigating the carnage.
Lakmudin Saliao, a longtime house help of Ampatuan Sr., on Wednesday told the Manila court hearing the massacre case that last March 11 the former governor told him to give the money to Dureza.
“Bakla daw si Saliao…Mahirap paniwalaan ang ganyang klaseng tao (They said Saliao is gay…It’s hard to believe this kind of persons),” Datu Mastor D. Salendab, a resident of Buluan,Maguindanao, said in a press conference here today.
Salendab, who said he is a close friend of Dureza’s, identified himself as a former assemblyman of the defunct Batasang Pampook of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. He said he ran as mayor of Buluan in the May 10 elections with the support of the Ampatuans.
Dureza, who turned over on Wednesday his position as chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) to Luwalhati Antonino, called Saliao’s statements “all fabrications and which are better threshed out in court when I am called to testify.” (H. Marcos C. Mordeno/MindaNews)