Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Arroyo orders arrest of Maguindanao massacre killers


 President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered today the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to deploy units to conduct immediate pursuit of the perpetrators of the gruesome massacre of the members of Mangudadatu clan and media in Maguindanao.
“I order all units to pursue the perpetrators, to restore order and secure affected areas in Maguindanao,” the President said in a statement at the opening of today’s joint National Economic Development Authority-Cabinet meeting at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room in Malacanang.
The Cabinet meeting was originally scheduled in the world-famous Boracay island. It was moved to Malacanang due to the Maguindanao incident.
Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III had earlier said the president and her cabinet will study if there was need to declare a state of emergency in Maguindanao.
The chief executive ordered Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales and Lt. Gen. Rodrigo Maclang, acting AFP Chief of Staff, “to personally oversee military action against the perpetrators of these dastardly acts that occurred yesterday.”
She said “no effort will be spared to bring justice to the victims.”
The president also announced the establishment of checkpoints and chokepoints, with elements of Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade already in place to preserve peace and secure the area.

She appointed Presidential Adviser for Mindanao Jesus Dureza as the head of the Crisis Committee for Maguindanao.
The bodies of 22 kidnap victims, out of the 44 reported abducted, including the wife and relatives of Buluan town's vice mayor Ismael Mangudadatu, a gubernatorial aspirant in Maguindanao, were recovered by the Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade Monday afternoon.
The bodies, recovered in Sitio Masalay, Barangay Salman in Ampatuan town, reportedly showed "signs of mutilation."
Reports said Mangudadatu’s wife, Genalyn, his sister, some relatives and members of the media were on their way to file his certificate of candidacy for governor of Maguindanao province when a group of about 100 armed men abducted them.

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