Another Maguindanao Massacre fugitive arrested, nearly 80 still at large

The families of the victims of the Maguindanao massacre during a protest vigil. <i>Photo: ABS-CBN News</i>
The families of the victims of the Maguindanao massacre during a protest vigil. Photo: ABS-CBN News

One of the scores of suspects still on the run over the grisly 2009 Maguindanao Massacre was apprehended yesterday by the authorities, making him the second person connected to the crime to be arrested this week.

Gambayan Kasim, also known as Lori Alip, was arrested by the authorities in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao province. A hand grenade was allegedly found in his possession, while 13 plastic sachets of meth and a gun were reportedly seized from his associate Edsrail Guiomla, according to GMA News.

Read: Guilty: Court convicts Ampatuan brothers over decade-old Maguindanao massacre

Guiomla allegedly engaged police officers in a gun battle, in which he ended up being wounded. Guiomla was taken to the hospital for treatment, but was pronounced dead on arrival, Tempo reports.

Kasim is now in the custody of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, according to Remate. Authorities said they tracked him down thanks to a tip-off.

It was also this week that fellow suspect Faisal Dimaukom, also known as Kagi Faizal, was arrested in Maguindanao.

Dimaukom and Kasim were among the 80 Maguindanao Massacre suspects who remained at large even after a court finally rendered a historic verdict in the 10-year-old case last month.

Brothers Datu “Unsay” Andal Jr. and Zaldy Ampatuan, members of a powerful political clan, were finally convicted in December over their roles the massacre, considered one of the bloodiest instances of election-related violence in recent memory.

The pair were sentenced to life in prison for masterminding the murders of 58 people who were on their way to witness the filing for candidacy of Esmael Mangudadatu, who was planning to run for governor in that year’s election against the incumbent, Unsay. They were convicted alongside scores of others, many of them cops, who worked for the clan as a sort of private army.

Many of the victims were journalists, and at least three of the women were raped and shot at close range. The Ampatuans have filed appeals and are seeking to overturn the verdict.

 

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