The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) lauded the arrest of one of the accused in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.
In his report to the PTFoMS, Lt. Col Ibrahim Jambiran, chief of the Parang Municipal Police Station (MPS), said Faisal Dimaukom, alias Kagi Faizal, was arrested by authorities early Monday morning.
Police also seized a fragmentation grenade in from Dimaukom.
He was turned over to Parang Municipal Police station for documentation and will be turned over to the custody of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 by the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Police Regional Office.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, co-chair of the PTFoMS, welcomed this development.
“One down, seventy-nine to go.”
“One down, seventy-nine to go,” Andanar said in a statement.
“No one said it’s going to be easy, but personally I think it’s just a matter of time before the long arm of the law catches up with them. It may even take some time to put all of them under custody, but eventually, justice will prevail as we have seen in the first batch of suspects,” the communications chief added.
PTFoMS Executive Director Joel Sy Egco said the task force will monitor the developments in the ongoing manhunt operations and inform the public of updates.
“I know that their day of reckoning will come sooner or later.”
“It only goes to show that this government will not rest until all those accused who are still in hiding have been arrested. I know that their day of reckoning will come sooner or later,” Egco said.
Dimaukom’s arrest comes after an intensified nationwide manhunt for the remaining accused as ordered by Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge, Lt. Gen Archie Gamboa.
Gamboa earlier issued a nationwide alert to hunt the remaining suspects and assured the bereaved families and relatives of victims that “efforts are ongoing and being intensified for the arrest of suspects who are still at-large”.
Last December 19, Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes convicted 28 people, including Datu Andal Unsay Ampatuan, Datu Anware Sajid Ulo Ampatuan, Datu Anwar Ampatuan Sr. and Datu Anwar Ipi Ampatuan Jr., of murder over the gruesome massacre.
Before the promulgation, records from the Quezon City RTC Branch 221 showed that 80 out of the 179 accused remain at large.
Killed in the massacre were 58 people, including 32 media workers, were supposed to witness the filing of candidacy of then Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu for the 2010 gubernatorial elections but were flagged down and murdered by gunmen in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao on Nov. 23, 2009.