MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday said it was ready to protect families of the Maguindanao massacre victims if proven that they would be in danger with the acquittal of 55 accused in the decade-old case.
Several relatives of the 58 victims expressed alarm for their safety after a special court on Thursday acquitted 55 of the 101 accused, including mostly policemen and 2 members of the Ampatuan clan that allegedly masterminded the slaughter.
Up to 2 police officers may be assigned to secure each victim's family, with the duration of their deployment depending on police assessment, said PNP Spokesperson Police Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac.
"Tinitiyak natin na ang PNP ay nakahandang magbigay ng seguridad... Kabilang na diyan of course ang ating araw-araw na pagpapatrolya ay bigyan sila ng special attention," he told reporters.
(We guarantee that the PNP is ready to provide security. That includes, of course, our daily patrols to give them special protection.)
The acquitted police officers, meanwhile, have to apply for reinstatement to government service and undergo review, said Banac.
The court on Thursday found 43 people guilty as principals or accessories to murder, while 80 suspects remain at large.
- Report from Zhander Cayabyab, ABS-CBN News