Mother-in-law of freed Ampatuan massacre suspect denies he’s back in Maguindanao

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/24 March) — Relatives of a suspect in the Ampatuan massacre who has been released on bail expressed worries recent acts of violence in Maguindanao might be blamed on him after reports came out he has been seen in the province and in this city.

Bai Mayan Ala Sinsuat, mother-in-law of Sajid Islam Uy Ampatuan, denied his son-in-law has gone home after he was granted temporary liberty.

“That is not true. He can’t do that for now, he is busy attending to his kids in his residence in Metro Manila for the lost time he had with his five boys,” Sinsuat told MindaNews over the phone.

She added his son-in-law would have no time to think of doing atrocities as he making up for lost time with his eight-month old baby boy.

Sajid Islam, the youngest son of Andal Ampatuan, Sr. and one of his co-accused in the 2009 massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao of 58 persons, 32 of them from the media, posted a bail of P11.6 million for his temporary liberty.

Sinsuat added Sajid Islam has no plans to go back to Cotabato or Maguindanao for security reasons.

Last week, two incidents of grenade throwing by motorcycle-riding men were reported in Shariff Aguak town, a known bailiwick of the Ampatuans in Maguindanao.

The first occurred on March 18 in front of the house Maguindanao Schools Division Superintendent Bai Meriam Kawit, who is a close relative of Ampatuans.

Three days after, another grenade exploded at the house of Association of Barangay Councils president Abe Ampatuan.

Kawit and Abe are neighbors.

Abe is the brother of Maguindanao massacre witness former Datu Salibo Mayor Akmad Ampatuan who turned against his former boss and uncle, Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr., one of the main suspects in the carnage.

Akmad was arrested in Makati City last week for another case.

No one was reported hurt in both incidents.

Local police said either personal grudge or politics could be the motive of the attacks.

“Sajid was back here in Cotabato and Maguindanao. That’s how strong influence works but that is only temporary liberty,” Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu said in an interview last week.

Mangudadatu is one of the complainants in the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre which is blamed on some members of the powerful Ampatuan family as the primary suspects.

The bloodbath killed 58 persons including Mangudadatu’s wife and other family members as well as 32 media workers whose convoy was stopped in Ampatuan town and brought to a hilly spot where they were killed and buried in a mass grave.

The convoy was on its way to Shariff Aguak to file the certificate of candidacy of Mangudadatu, who was vice mayor of Buluan town at the time. ( Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)