MAGUINDANAO – Former Talayan Mayor Datu Ali Midtimbang, father-in-law of former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Zaldy Ampatuan, is one of 50 in a batch of newly-accused people in relation with the November 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre.
Midtimbang has denied any involvement in the massacre, which claimed the lives of 58 people, including several members of the media, as well as relatives of Maguindanao Governor, Esmael Mangudadatu. The victims were on their way to the town of Shariff Aguak, in order to file the certificate of candidacy of Mangudadatu, when they were waylaid and mercilessly gunned down by the assassins.
The former mayor, who also goes by the name of “Kagui Ali,” refuted that he had any involvement in the planning and killing of the victims.
“Ipahayag namin sa publiko, sa korte, pati dun sa pamilyang involved na talagang wala kaming kasali-sali diyan sa massacre massacre na iyan (We wish to tell the public, the courts, even the families of those involved that we really had no involvement at all in that massacre.),” he said.
Midtimbag added that he was most likely dragged into the case because he is the father-in-law of Zaldy Ampatuan, and possibly because of his political affiliations.
“Unang-una dahil sa naging son-in-law ko si Zaldy na sinasangkot din nila at pangalawa na isang malaking naisipan ko na nadawit ako, akala nila siguro na tatakbo na naman kami uli o lalaban naman kami ulit (Firstly, because Zaldy became my somn-in-law and secondly, which I thought a lot about when they involved me, maybe because they think we will run again, or we will fight again.),” Midtimbang said.
Midtimbang appealed to those involved not to use the Maguindanao massacre for ulterior political interests.
Those recently accused and their families will plan to rally in Cotabato City on Thursday, to protest what they deem as the inclusion of “ innocent people” in the case.