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Almost 200 Filipinos Face Arrest for Massacre

Inquirer.net, Posted: Mar 27, 2010

MANILA, Philippines -- Almost a month after the Philippine Justice Department recommended the filing of charges against the suspects of this political massacre, 196 more accused in the November 2009 Ampatuan murders have been indicted at a Quezon City court on 56 counts of murder. In an order dated March 24, Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes admitted the amended information for multiple murder charges against the 196 suspects, which include five high-profile members of the Ampatuan clan as well as police officers. With seven of the accused in the amended charge sheet already in custody, the court issued separate arrest warrants against the 189 who are considered at-large. No bail was recommended. Only Andal Ampatuan Jr. was charged with 56 counts of murder last month. He entered a plea of not guilty.
Members of the Ampatuan clan were implicated in the mass murder of 57 people, including women, lawyers and journalists in Maguindanao province. They were accompanying the relatives of Esmael Mangudadatu, who was set to contest the position of Maguindanao governor against a member of the Ampatuan clan. The Ampatuans have denied any involvement in the killings.



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