Trial for the massacre of Maguindanao: the first witness heard
by Santosh Digal
The second session of the trial against Andalo Ampatuan jr. ended today in Quezon City. Rasul Sangki former member of Ampatuan clan present at the massacre says the accused fired the shot that started the massacre of 23 November claiming the lives of 57 people.

Manila (AsiaNews) - Andalo Ampatuan jr. apparently fired the shot that started the massacre of Maguindanao that left  57 people dead. This is what emerges from the second session of the trial against him today in Quezon City. The charge is laid by Rasul Sangki, a former member of the Ampatuan Muslim clan and first eyewitness of the massacre on November 23 against the supporters of the clan of Ishmael "Toto" Mangudadatu. In his deposition Sangki was also indicated Andalo Ampatuan sr ., Father of the accused and former governor of the Autonomous Region of Mindanao (Armm)as the main instigator of the massacre. He was the main rival of Mangudadatu in the race for governorship of the region in the 2010 elections. According to the witness, Andalo sr. gave his son the order to proceed with the execution by radio.

"I am sure that the testimony will support allegations against Sangki Andalo jr. and his father, "said Ishmael" Toto "Mangudadatu, who lost his wife and two sisters in the massacre. He says, however, surprised at the choice of Sangki to testify against his former clan.

Meanwhile, the Church and the people of Mindanao are seeking justice for the victims. Andalo jr. remains in jail pending the next session of the trial despite a request for bail made by his lawyer on 5 December. In December, police arrested Andalo Ampatuan sr. and other members of his clan on a charge of attempted rebellion. The operation took place after martial law was applied in the region from 8 to 12 December. In this period the police and army discovered about 200 cases of murder attributed to the Ampatuan clan. They had never been reported in the past by local authorities. The former governor and his supporters are still awaiting trial.