Philippine Massacre 8 Journalists Buried

Philippine Massacre 8 Journalists Buried

A funeral procession of eight journalists among the 57 people massacred in the Philippines "the worst political violence was a rain of flowers Friday, while security forces have seized an array of a powerful clan, suspected of murder.

Thirty journalists and staff - the largest number of journalists killed in a single attack anywhere in the world - was killed in an ambush, 23 November with family and supporters to challenge a candidate iron control of the Ampatuan clan energetic bad Maguindanao province.

"It is very difficult to handle the pain," Eliver Cablitas, Marit Cablitas man, 38, editor of the tabloid News Focus, leaving behind three teenagers."I went to the scene and had to identify his body. I also saw the dead, and another was traumatic," he said.

Coffins of journalists were placed in a truck decorated with flowers. A convoy of motorcycles, cars and trucks, followed by a church in the city of General Santos in the cemetery. The groups of residents on the road with a shower of flowers and coins as a farewell to the victims.

"We want justice," read a streamer on the side of the truck.Police say at least five women, including a journalist may have been raped, based on initial tests. Forensic results also indicated that some of the victims were shot with a light machine gun, and jumped from a distance of only two feet (60 centimeters), said Arturo Cacdac, Crime Lab Director for the police.

Among the dead was the wife, sisters and supporters Esmael Mangudadatu who sent the documentation to submit their candidacy for governor after receiving death threats from Ampatuans. Twenty of the 57 were women.

The scion of the clan and a mayor, Andal Ampatuan Jr., surrendered last week and was charged with multiple counts of murder. His father - the patriarch of the family - and at least four other clan members, are also considered suspects, but have not yet been charged. They deny any involvement.

Troops and police armed with a warrant, broke into four houses belonging Ampatuans on Friday and found firearms and ammunition, said military spokesman Maj. Randolph Cabangbang.

Hundreds of security forces who have been around extend Ampatuan compounds in the capital of the province of Shariff Aguak to prevent the escape also unearthed a whole arsenal of mortérgranater, weapons and ammunition buried outside the castle walls, said Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner, another spokesman.

Three armored vehicles were also seized, he said. Armed forces, Gen. Victor Ibrado ordered an investigation into how the military arsenal ended with the politically powerful family.

It was not clear when a court to issue arrest warrants against members of the family. Justice Secretary Agnes Winder said he would call 11 people, including Patriarch Andal Ampatuan Sr., for a preliminary examination in Manila on December 14.

The Ampatuan clan, famous for running a private army, ostensibly to protect against Muslim separatist rebels who are allied with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, which was crucial votes in the region during the 2004 elections.


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