Maguindanao gov refutes instigating charges vs new ‘massacre’ suspects PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 25 January 2015 14:46

Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu on Saturday brushed as “so debatable” the assertions by the new suspects in the infamous Nov. 23, 2009 Maguindanao Massacre that he instigated the filing of criminal charges against them.

Some of the latest suspects recently charged, from among 50, staged on Thursday an indignation rally in Cotabato City where they accused the Maguindanao governor of linking them to the atrocity to weaken them politically.

“I can’t engage in exchanges of barbs and tirades over something that is already in the hands of prosecutors. I myself is a victim of that massacre, having lost a wife and members of my immediate family. I am only in search of justice and not a prosecution witness. That should be made clear,” Mangudadatu said.

Mangudadatu said he is not using the massacre case to gain political leverage either.

He said the criminal cases filed against the latest batch of massacre suspects were initiated by relatives of 43 victims, out of the 58 people, that perished in the incident.

The governor said it is the new prosecution witnesses that implicated them to the crime, not him.

“I’m challenging them to swear over the Holy Qur’an that they did not, in any way whatsoever, get involved in that gory incident before the Ka’aba in Mecca (Saudi Arabia) in keeping with Islamic traditions. I can pay for their fares going there if they respond to my challenge,” Mangudadatu was quoted as saying in reports last Friday by local media outfits.

The Ka’abah, which is Islam’s holiest spiritual landmark, is located in Mecca, the capital of the Islamic faith, which millions of pilgrims visit every year as a religious obligation.

Speakers in Thursday’s rally at the Cotabato City plaza took turns denying the imputations against them, attacking the credibility of the new witnesses to the criminal cases recently filed against them. — JU