Timeline of the Maguindanao Massacre

Compiled by Justine Jordan

Nov. 23, 2009: Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu’s wife and sisters, media workers and lawyers were killed by armed men. They were on their way to file Mangudadatu’s certificate of candidacy for the governorship of Maguindanao. A total of 58 people were killed, 32 of them journalists.

Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City were placed under a state of emergency.

December 2009: Martial Law was declared in Mindanao. Heavy firearms were discovered within a vacant lot about 500 meters away from Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr.’s mansion. Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. was charged with 25 counts of murder.

January 2010: Ampatuan Town Vice Mayor Rasul Sangki said he witnessed a member of the Ampatuan clan, along with his family members, gunning down the victims, who “knelt and begged for their lives.”

February 2010: Ampatuan Jr. pleaded not guilty to the 15 murders charged against him.

March 2010: A witness said he was one of the gunmen, adding that Ampatuan Jr. and Datu Kanor, the Department of Justice’ primary suspect and vice mayor of Salibo, should be locked up. The Quezon City Regional Trial Court dismissed rebellion charges against supporters of the Ampatuan clan, citing lack of evidence.

September 2010: The trial of the Maguindanao massacre case against the Ampatuan clan began at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig. A helper of the Ampatuans claimed the ambush was talked over six days before, at dinner.

June 2011: During his arraignment, Ampatuan Sr. pleaded not guilty. Live coverage of the Maguindanao massacre trial was approved.

July 2011: DOJ rejects Zaldy Ampatuan, son of Ampatuan Sr., to stand as state witness.

October 2011: Two years after the massacre, about a hundred accused remain at large.

November 2011: The International Freedom of Expression Exchange marked Nov. 23 as the International Day to End Impunity, coinciding with the second year of the massacre.

January 2012: Daughter of photojournalist Reynaldo Momay, the 58th victim of the massacre files murder charges against the Ampatuans. His body has not yet been found and could not be officially included in the death tally. However, his dentures were said to be found in the massacre site.

March 2012: Ampatuan Sr. was brought back to jail after being rushed to and confined in a military hospital for two weeks.

May 2012: Arraignment for the 58th murder case in the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.

October 2012: The Supreme Court retracted its decision of allowing the public to watch Maguindanao Massacre trial in order to protect the rights of the witnesses and suspects.

November 2012: As a tribute to the third year of the massacre, members of the College of Editors’ Guild gathered to protest in front of Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

February 2013: First state witness of the Maguindanao Massacre trial is Sukamo Badal, former vice mayor of Sultan sa Barongis town in Maguindanao.

Relatives of 14 of the 58 killed in the massacre signed an agreement to allow an emissary to negotiate a P50-million settlement through Jun Chan, allegedly an agent of the Ampatuans.

March 25, 2013: Chan, the emissary, was killed in an ambush in General Santos City a month after the agreements were signed.

May 2013: Several Ampatuans were elected in Maguindanao despite the ongoing trial. A total of 78 suspects pleaded not guilty for the murder of Momay.

July 2013: Students, media groups and widows of the victims commemorated the 44th month since the massacre at the UP College of Law.

November 2013: Only eight of the 96 suspects have been arrested four years after the massacre. Lawyers of the kin of the victims have appealed for help from international organizations, such as the United Nations and the ASEAN.


SOURCES: cmfr-phil.org, philstar.com, nujp.org, gmanetwork.com, newsinfo.inquirer.net, abs-cbnnews.com, verafiles.org

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