Global RiskNews Briefs

Planners of Maguindanao massacre found guilty of murder in Philippines ‘trial of the decade’

The men who planned and conducted a massacre in the town of Ampatuan in the Philippines that damaged its political establishment have been found guilty of murder. On November 23, 2009, 58 people were massacred, and among them was the wife and sister of Philippino political candidate Ismael Mangudadatu and 30 journalists. Mangudadatu was running for governor of Maguindanao, threatening the Ampatuan family’s 20-year long rule. On Thursday, a judge found members of the Ampatuan family guilty of murder for their involvement in the massacre, and the family members involved were sentenced to life in prison.

The verdict is monumental for both the families of the victims and human rights activists, offering closure to the families and prompting the country’s political leaders to act against state support for private armies and militias that allowed the Ampatuans to practice political warlordism. 197 people were charged with murder, eight of which died over the past decade while 80 suspects remain at large. Thursday’s trial involved 101 suspects.

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