Maguindanao politician says witness vs. Dureza not credible for being ‘gay’

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.

Datu Mastor Salendab, who claims to be an associate of jailed former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., came forward in a press conference in Davao City September  17  to defend former Mindanao Development Authority chief Jesus Dureza against allegations that he received a P10-million bribe for the dismissal of the rebellion case against Andal Sr.  Mindanews Photo by Froilan GallardoAmpatuan 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)