COTABATO CITY - One of the suspects in the Maguindanao massacre has surrendered to police authorities Friday and is now in their custody in Cotabato City.
The suspect, Butukan S. Malang, 52 years old, a resident of Datu Saudi Ampatuan municipality, Maguindanao, works as a watchman in the municipal hall.
Based on the information, he is related to the Ampatuans: he is a first cousin of Datu Andal Ampatuan, Sr.
In an interview with Malang, he denied that he is involved in the massacre.
He said he was not in Maguindanao during the massacre because he was in Mecca, Saudi Arabi for a Hajj pilgrimage.
"Gusto ko ma-clear ang pangalan ko... 'di ako kasama dun kasi nasa Mecca ako," Malang said.
After he found out from his son that he is included in the wanted list of the Philippine National Police (PNP), he was advised to seek help for him to clear his name.
CIDG-ARMM chief, Police Superintendent Jacinto Malinao, said the family coordinated with the Datu Hoffer municipal station for his surrender.
He added that it is better for the suspects to surrender so they can defend themselves under due process of law.
Meantime, Butukan Malang and Edris Kasan, who were arrested by the authorities last Saturday after being shot by unidentified suspects in Barangay Labu-labu, Datu Hoffer town in Maguindanao, are now in the custody of CIDG-ARMM in Cotabato City.
Malinao said that they are just waiting for the commitment order to be issued by Judge Jocelyn Solis for them to be transported to Manila and be detained in Bicutan.
The 132 other suspects in the Maguindanao massacre are still at-large, as of posting.