Unas’ motives suspect, says massacre victims’ kin

Posted at 10/05/11 10:46 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The kin of the Maguindanao massacre victims expressed wariness over the decision of former Maguindanao provincial administrator Norie Unas to reveal his knowledge of alleged poll fraud in 2007.

They also opposed plans to place Unas under the government’s Witness Protection Program.

Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu and Cielo Brizuela said Unas should instead be slapped with a criminal case in connection with the Maguindanao massacre in 2009.

Unas, who is the right-hand man of former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., was the one who ordered that a backhoe be brought to the murder site, they alleged.

They also alleged he was involved in hiding the evidence against the Ampatuan family.

Mangudadatu also criticized Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes for backing Unas. He said Brillantes was once a lawyer of the Ampatuans.

He noted there are already a lot of witnesses who can prove the widespread cheating in 2007.

Unas claimed he personally heard former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo give orders to rig the 2007 election results in favor of her allies, and decided to come out after suspended Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan named him in his affidavit on election fraud. - from a report by Ces Drilon, ABS-CBN News