Mangudadatu: Ampatuan Sr's death won't stop quest for justice

MANILA, Philippines – Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu said that families of victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre will continue their quest for justice even after the death of alleged mastermind Andal Ampatuan Sr.

Mangudadatu – whose pregnant wife and other relatives were among the 58 killed in the incident dubbed as the Philippines' worst case of election-related violence – made the statement following the death of Ampatuan late Friday night, July 17.

"May Andal Ampatuan Sr rest in peace. Regardless of his death, however, the Mangudadatu family and other families of the victims of the Ampatuan Maguindanao massacre case will continue to seek justice for the 58 persons who were gruesomely killed during the said incident," he said.

Ampatuan, under trial for multiple murder charges along with other members of his clan and their aides, died at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon city while being treated for complications of liver cancer on Friday night.

On November 23, 2009, a convoy bearing Mangudadatu's relatives and supporters, and members of the media, was headed to the provincial capital to join the then gubernatorial candidate who was filing his certificate of candidacy – challenging the Ampatuans. 

They were attacked, brutally killed, and buried using a government-owned backhoe. – Althea Ballentes/