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On eve of Ampatuan Massacre anniversary, prosecution witness killed, another injured

On the 5th anniversary of the #AmpatuanMassacre, 23 November 2014, join the Million Candles Campaign #endimpunityPH


This statement was originally published on on 20 November 2014.

A witness for the prosecution in the Ampatuan (Maguindanao) Massacre Trial was killed and another injured when they were ambushed in Shariff Aguak town, Maguindanao province on 18 November 2014.

Denex Sacal and Butch Saudagal were on a tricycle at around 7 p.m. when unidentified men fired at them.

Both sustained multiple gunshot wounds. Sacal died while the injured Saudagal was brought to a nearby hospital.

Sacal and Saudagal were to testify for the prosecution in the Ampatuan Massacre Trial, which is heard by Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Branch 221 of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court in Manila.

According to private prosecutor Nena Santos, Sacal and Saudagal used to be employees of primary accused, Andal "Datu Unsay" Ampatuan Jr., when Ampatuan was still mayor of Datu Unsay town in Maguindanao.

The killing comes just before the fifth anniversary of the massacre. On 23 November 2009, 58 men and women, 32 of whom were journalists and media workers, were killed in an incident of election-related violence in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao.

The trial against 197 accused, including eight members of the Ampatuan family and 70 police and military officers, started in January 2010. Two other prosecution witnesses have been killed since: Suwaib "Jessie" Upham killed in June 2010 and Esmail Enog in June 2012, who both testified they were present at the massacre.

Take Action

On the 5th anniversary of the #AmpatuanMassacre, 23 November 2014, join the Million Candles Campaign #endimpunityPH

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