Mangudadat­u wants ‘death’ for principal suspects


MAGUINDANA­O Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadat­u said Wednesday he wants the death penalty for the principal suspects in the Maguindana­o massacre, a decade-old case tagged as the most violent election-related incident in Philippine history.

“Dapat lang. Dapat lang (It is just proper),” he said when asked in an interview with ABSCBN News Channel if he believes that capital punishment, which has yet to be approved by Congress, “would have been apt” for the case.

But Mangudadat­u

also said that should the suspects be declared guilty for the November 23, 2009 massacre, they should serve hundreds of years in jail for the death of 58 people, including his wife and 32 media practition­ers.

He said he would also accept whatever will be the decision on the case during the promulgati­on at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City on December 19, but repeated his earlier vow to resign as a member of Congress if the court fails to rule in favor of the victims.

Mangudadat­u then turned emotional during


the interview when he narrated the ordeal his children had to go through after the massacre.

“Alam mo ‘yung pagaralin mo ‘yung mga anak mo na hindi nila apelyido, kakausapin mo ‘yung eskwelahan na pwede bang hindi i-reveal ‘yung apelyido ko? Nagkawatak-watak ‘yung mga anak ko eh,” he said in tears.

“Minsan para akong nag-a-abroad na isang linggo bago ko makita ‘yung mga anak ko. Makikita ko na lang, kapag gabi aalis ako kasi wala akong matulugan na permanente kasi takot

ako eh, at ayoko sila madamay. Mahal ko sila, at ‘yung hirap na para bang ikaw nag-iisang nagaaruga sa lahat. Nakapahira­p. Sobra,” he also said.

Despite all the hardships brought by the quest for justice that had been elusive for 10 years, Mangudadat­u said he had resolved to continue seeking for it even if he will have to do it alone.

The trial of the Maguindana­o massacre started on September 8, 2010. The Quezon City Regional Trial Court has jurisdicti­on over the case and will decide on it next week. –

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