Maguindanao massacre suspect turns state witness

From a report by Ces Oreña-Drilon, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 14 2013 10:52 PM | Updated as of Feb 15 2013 06:57 AM

MANILA – For the prosecution, the testimony of former Ampatuan-ally-turned-state-witness Zukarno Badal is a major victory.

Judge Jocelyn Solis Reyes finally ordered Badal dropped as an accused in the Maguindanao massacre case, paving the way for his inclusion in the government's Witness Protection Program as a state witness.

Private counsel Nena Santos said Badal was one of their most vital witnesses who had knowledge from the planning, execution, to the cover up of the massacre.

In his testimony, Badal said as early as July 2009, the Ampatuan clan planned the killing and even flew 200 high-powered firearms from Manila to Mindanao for the purpose.

Badal testified that the Ampatuan clan had planned to eliminate Mangudadatu in three locations where he may file his certificate of candidacy: Manila, Cotabato City and Shariff Aguak.

Zaldy Ampatuan was tasked with Manila, Maguindanao provincial administrator Norie Unas and Atty. Cynthia Sayadi were put in charge of Cotabato City, while the Ampatuan patriarch said he would take care of Maguindanao.

Badal was also present during the massacre where he overheard Andal Sr. order Andal Jr. over the two-way radio to kill everyone including members of the media.

Badal is set to identify the accused he implicated in the next hearing. -- ANC