Manila. September 28. Saliao swore by the Holy Book (Qu’ran) that he was present in the house of ex-governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. when the infamous Maguindanao Massacre was being planned. He was a helper in said household.
Saliao’s statements were straight forward and very consistent while he was being cross-examined by defence lawyer Gregorio Narvasa. Saliao directly linked Andal Ampatuan Jr. to the killings allegedly on orders of his father.
Saliao said that Ampatuan Jr., the mayor of Datu Unsay town, led a force of over a hundred, mostly police and paramilitary troopers that carried out the massacre on Nov. 23, 2009. The dead included 30 journalists, the largest single group of media people killed in a single incident.
Incumbent Maguindanao Governor Mangudadatu said that he was satisfied with the testimony of Saliao. The witness appeared unperturbed with insinuations made by the defence lawyer that he was just as guilty as the accused.
Norodin Zailon Mauyag, a resident of Sitio Malatig, also testified about how the Mangudadatu convoy was ambushed. He said they were ordered by the armed men to leave the area so that they won’t get hurt. Mauyag recalled how the passengers from the convoy were threatened by the men whom he identified as policemen. – ? (Associated Press)