Soldier suspected of killing, burying wife in camp nabbed

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/22 September) — Police in Carmen, North Cotabato arrested on Wednesday Army Private First Class Mariano Ampatuan of the Engineering Battalion of the 602nd Brigade after he reportedly admitted to killing and burying his wife.

Chief Insp. Jordine Maribojo, Carmen police station head, said Pfc. Ampatuan could no longer deny the killing of his wife, Bernadette Tejing-Ampatuan, after they discovered her naked body in a graveyard inside the brigade headquarters, around 130 p.m. Wednesday.

An autopsy conducted by Carmen municipal health officer Dr. Jose Naquitquitan found bruises and a deep wound in the victim’s head.

Senior Supt. Cornelio Salinas, provincial director of the Cotabato provincial police office, said marital rift led Ampatuan into killing his wife.

Ampatuan, however, refused to disclose what caused the supposed rift.

Maribojo said the victim left her house in Malita, Davao del Sur on September 11 on instructions from her husband. She told her relatives she would be back on the 14th, and when she failed to return home they became worried.

On September 17, the victim’s brother-in law, Davao del Sur provincial board member Isabelo Masiwel, went to Carmen town and sought the help of Maribojo.

The Carmen police immediately coordinated with the 602nd Brigade in investigating the case.

“At first, Pfc. Ampatuan denied he knew his wife’s whereabouts.  But we received information the wife has not left the premises of the Army’s headquarters.  So we decided to stay and dig deeper on the issue.  Until we found the body,” said Maribojo.

They immediately handcuffed Ampatuan and detained him at the municipal jail pending the filing of a parricide case against him. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)