MANILA – A still unidentified gunmen killed one of the key witnesses in the mass murder of 58 people in Maguindanao province while another witness was left wounded during an attack in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao.
Palace officials said that the attacks happened following the full weight proceeding launched by the prosecutors against the accused.
In an interview with radio station in Cotabato City, Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu said that the former driver of Andal Ampatuan Sr. and the alleged bagman of former Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr, Sukarno Butch Saudagal, were riding a motorcycle to Buluan town when they were shot.
Meanwhile, the Ampatuan father and son are now detained after being accused of being the masterminds behind the Maguindanao killing,
At least 32 journalist and several supporters of the Mangudadatu, including the wife of the incumbent governor were killed on their way to file the candidacy of Mangudadatu on his behalf on Nov. 23, 2009.
“They were our additional vital witnesses to the massacre,” Mangudadatu told Church-run radio station dxMS in Cotabato.
“They were to meet my lawyers to formalize their testimonies,” he said.
“I see no other reason why they would be ambushed aside from their desire to become state witnesses,” Mangudadatu said.