2 more massacre suspects captured PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 November 2010 14:42

Government security forces on Monday captured two more suspects in the gruesome Maguindanao massacre during an operation in Sultan Kudarat town, a ranking police official said.

Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Sr. Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr. identified the arrested as Taya Karim Bangkulat and Salik Bangkulat, who were included in the Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) list of wanted persons with P250,000 reward each.

Cruz said the two were captured by combined elements of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (ARMM-CIDG), Army intelligence unit and the Naval Intelligence and Security Force (NISF) at their safehouse at about 4:30 a.m. in Sitio Matingen in Barangay Pigkalagan, Sultan Kudarat town, Maguindanao.

The two were tagged as involved in the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre of 57 civilians and media practitioners in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao.

Cruz said the arrest was made by virtue of arrest warrants issued by Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes for 57 counts of multiple murder.

”The two are now detained at the ARMM-CIDG,” said Cruz.

According to Cruz, government authorities were still tracking down 117 other accused in the gruesome massacre, mostly members of civilian armed auxiliary linked to the powerful Ampatuan clan of Maguindanao.

A total of 78 suspects, led by former Datu Unsay town Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., are now behind bars for involvement in the massacre.

Ampatuan Jr. was tagged as the leader of more than 100 armed men who perpetrated the cold-blooded killings.

Aside from Ampatuan Jr., his father and namesake Andal Ampatuan Sr., former governor of Maguindanao province; his brother erstwhile ARMM Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan and other members of the powerful clan were also implicated in the massacre and are now detained.

Cruz said that CIDG tracker teams were still tracking down the remaining suspects.