The vice mayor of Sharif Aguak named Akmad Mitra Ampatuan who testified against the “Ampatuan massacre” suspects, his own relatives, was ambushed today December 24, 2019. Due to this incident, the witness was seriously injured while two of his aides died, according to the statement given to Rappler by police chief Colonel Arnold Santiago of Maguindanao. Authorities are now looking for more clues regarding the root cause or the motive of the atrocious incident as it happened 5 days after the Ampatuan brothers named Zaldy, Anwar Sr, and Datu Andal Jr, along with other members of the clan, Anwar Jr and Anwar Sajid, were convicted in Quezon City for the murder of 58 people on the day of November 23, 2009 in Maguindanao.
Driving to his way home on a Toyota Innova along the national highway in his hometown, Sharrif Aguak, this afternoon at around 1 pm, vice mayor Akmad Mitra Ampatuan was sprayed with bullets leading to his injury and also the death of his two assistants. The vice mayor was now said to be on a “stable condition” at the hospital but unfortunately, one of the aides died on the spot while the other one died at the hospital. The suspects were reported to be around two or three persons using a white multicab. Regarding the ambush, police chief Santiago said that the possible motive is the mayor’s role as a witness against the said suspects of the Ampatuan or the Maguindanao massacre that happened in 2009. He is currently under the Witness Protection Program of the government due to this.
Among the suspects, 56 were acquitted; many were policemen of the province assigned by the Ampatuan themselves. Meanwhile, others were acquitted because they belong to “those who had prior knowledge of the murder plot but did not at all perform any overt act”. Bong Andal, the person who operated the backhoe on that incident, was also convicted with lesser offense. Maguindanao currently is being placed under critical condition due to the bombings that occurred last Sunday evening, December 22, which injured 22 people in total; including soldiers. While the people of the region are still currently struggling to recover from the damages caused by successive earthquakes, these things happened, adding to the people’s stresses and fears. As of this moment, many people in some places surrounding this town are living in tents in the evacuation centers.