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Archive for Saturday, December 5, 2009

Suspect in massacre probe arrested

December 5, 2009

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— Philippine troops took the patriarch of a powerful clan — a former governor — and three other members of his family into custody today after the president put his southern province under martial law to hunt down suspects in the country’s worst political violence.

The head of the clan, Andal Ampatuan Sr., and at least six other family members who have ruled impoverished Maguindanao province unopposed for years are the main suspects in the Nov. 23 attack on a political rival’s convoy in which 57 people, including 30 journalists, were killed. The family has denied involvement.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo today put Maguindanao under martial law, allowing troops to make arrests without court warrants and restore order, her top Cabinet member, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, announced.

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