Philippine police to net 161 suspects | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, December 09, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, December 09, 2009

Philippine police to net 161 suspects

Clan chief charged with rebellion

Philippine police yesterday named 161 suspects in the massacre of 57 people last month, including government militiamen led by members of a powerful clan facing murder and rebellion charges.
The patriarch of the clan, Andal Ampatuan Sr, and one of his sons were among 24 people charged with rebellion in a court in the southern city of Cotabato, justice undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor told reporters.
Witnesses have identified Andal Ampatuan Jr, a scion of the clan, leading the group of militiamen who stopped his rival's convoy that included 30 journalists and their staff on Nov 23 in the southern province of Maguindanao, national police chief Jesus Verzosa told reporters.
He said witnesses told investigators Ampatuan himself shot some of the victims in Ampatuan township named after his family that has ruled the impoverished province unopposed for years.
Police said the militiamen, all but two at large, were identified by witnesses Tuesday. Their names will be submitted to prosecutors to be included in the charge sheet and court warrants of arrest.
The mug shots of about 100 newly identified suspects were displayed at the national police headquarters in Manila. Of 161 suspects identified by authorities, 100 are militiamen and the remainder are members of the Ampatuan clan or are police, army and local officials working for the Ampatuans. About 30 of them have been arrested.
Ampatuan turned himself in three days after the Nov 23 killings and denied involvement. His father, the family patriarch, and other relatives have been arrested on separate charges of rebellion.

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