PNP chief admits threat to life of backhoe driver

Posted at 12/01/12 10:32 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Police have implemented tighter measures to secure Bong Andal, the backhoe driver who allegedly dug the mass graves for 58 victims of the Maguindanao massacre, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome said.

“All those involved in serious crimes will always be under threat. So we need to protect him and ensure security because we need him. We need to get from him other details of the incident that led to the massacre,” Bartolome said.

Andal is detained at the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame, awaiting the decision of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court where he would be detained.

“We will detain him there (Camp Crame) alongside other high profile suspects. Of course we need to return his warrant to the court, which will issue an order of his detention,” Bartolome said.

“Maybe we would rather that we keep him first in our detention facility while we gather more information from him about the massacre.”

Andal is applying to be a state witness in agreeing to cooperate and provide testimony in the Maguindanao massacre.

He was an employee of the Maguindanao provincial government at the time members of the Ampatuan clan and their private militia allegedly slaughtered 58 people in Ampatuan town on Nov. 23, 2009.