By Aaron Recuenco
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it has launched a massive manhunt for the 80 remaining fugitives in the Maguindanao massacre case, following Thursday’s promulgation of judgment on those accused of the brutal murder of 57 people in 2009.
PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said they consider the 80 fugitives armed and dangerous, with some of them former soldiers, policemen, and government militiamen.
“We will certainly double our efforts to account for all of them,” Banac said in an interview.
PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa said he has directed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Intelligence Group to hunt down the 80 fugitives.
“Considering the nature of their crime and their continued flight from justice, we presume these fugitives to be armed and dangerous,” Gamboa said.
The PNP leadership also described as a landmark decision a Quezon City court’s guilty verdict on several principal accused and accessories in the celebrated Ampatuan massacre of 2009.
“This triumph of justice sends a strong message that the majesty of the law does not bow to the rich and powerful,” Gamboa said in a statement.