KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/23 November) — None of the items recovered from the massacre site in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao belonged to the missing photographer believed to be among the 58 persons killed two years ago.
Reynafe Momay-Castillo, daughter of Reynaldo Momay, said she could not recognize any of the items presented to her when they visited the site a day before the second anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre, considered the worst case of election-related violence in the country’s history.
Brigadier Gen. Rey Ardo , commander of the 6th Infantry Division, led the presentation of the items after the mass and floral offering held at the multi-purpose hall at the site.
Ardo said the items were dug out on November 8 while the construction of the P3-million multi-purpose hall, restrooms, and the shrine was ongoing.
The items were buried in the pit where the vehicles and bodies of the massacre victims were found two years ago, he added.
Recovered were a faded press card, muddied vest, a torn shoe sole, a pair of sunglasses, and spent shells of M14 and M16 rifles, among other things.
“But none of these belonged to my father,” said Momay-Castillo.
The vest, according to the Ampatuan municipal police station, belonged to Andy Teodoro of the Mindanao Examiner.
Grace Morales, widow of Rossel Morales of News Focus, said the pair of sunglasses looked like the eyewear her husband was wearing at the time he joined the ill-fated convoy of media workers and family members of Maguindanao Governor Esmael ‘Toto’ Mangudadatu.
Mangudadatu, then the vice mayor of Buluan town, had sent his wife, other relatives and two female lawyers to file his certificate of candidacy in Shariff Aguak town. But the group was stopped by armed men allegedly headed by then Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., and killed in Sitio Masalay, Barangay Salman in Ampatuan town.
So far, only Momay’s dentures were recovered a few meters away from where the killings took place leading authorities to conclude he was among the victims even if his body had remained missing.
Momay-Castillo, just like the rest of the members of the Justice Now Movement, was anxious over the progress of the case.
“For two years, I am without a father. For two years, there is no justice. And until now, I still search for his body,” she said.
Meanwhile, a roadside bomb exploded early morning today along the highway in Ampatuan town, about five kilometers away from the massacre site, a police official said.
Supt. Marcelo Pintac, provincial police director of Maguindanao said the bomb was placed inside a bag and left a meter away from the concrete pavement.
He said no one hurt in the explosion. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)