Relatives of a Muslim couple who was killed over a decade ago found hope following the capture of one of four suspects — Mayor Khadafeh Mangudadatu ‘Toy’ Mangudadatu — in the killings.
Mangudadatu, a member of a powerful political clan and former member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, was arrested by policemen at a posh hotel in Davao City recently after an arrest warrant was issued by the court for the killings of Abdulah and Lalaw Ligawan on Oct. 7, 2010.
Police are still looking for three other suspects — Zajid Mangudadatu, Tunggal Usop, and Mamayang Amino.
Judge Samina Sampaco Macabando-Usman of Branch 20 of the Regional Trial Court, who signed the arrest warrant on September 9, recommended no bail for Mangudadatu and all the accused.
Mangudadatu was rushed to hospital following his arrest, complaining of chest pains and difficulty in breathing. But the results of the series of medical tests were all normal, according to Capt. Richard Ebero, medical officer of the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
[Note: We tried to get the mayor’s side, but have not received any statement.]
After more than a decade of waiting, the relatives of the victims said they are finally seeing a glimpse of justice even as they expressed fear of possible retaliation.
“I’ve waited for several years for this moment to happen. The karma hit them. I am very happy that someone will now pay for what has happened. I am not afraid,” said a relative of who asked not to be named for reason of security.
“I just wanted the truth to come out,” he said, adding they are all aware of possible reprisals following the capture of the suspect.
“The case dragged on for 12 years,” said the relative. We were not even noticed by the media in the past because we just come from an ordinary family,” he said.
Another relative said they welcome the latest development but expressed worry for their safety. “I am happy that justice is served. I am leaving everything to Allah,” she said.
Lt. Col. Bernard Lao, regional director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said Mangudadatu had been under surveillance before he was arrested at the Davao City hotel.