Ex-helper of Andal Ampatuan Sr. says Ampatuan Jr. decided to kill journalists despite father's advice
It was Datu Unsay Andal Ampatuan Jr. who gave the go signal to kill the media with the Mangudadatu convoy in November, according to an ex-helper of Ampatuan Jr.'s father, former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr., reports TV Patrol.
"'Pag patayin ko ang taong ito, idadamay ko na rin ang media. Walang isa man lang na mabuhay. Pag mabuhay ang isang tao, 'yun ang makakapahamak po sa atin," Ampatuan Jr. allegedly told his father through their ICOM two-way radio the morning of the massacre, according to ex-helper Lakmodin "Laks" Saliao. This was despite Ampatuan Sr.'s advice to spare the media, Saliao told reporter Jorge Cariño in the exclusive interview aired June 23.
At the patriarch's house in Shariff Aguak six days before the massacre, Saliao said the Ampatuan family plotted to get rid of Buluan Vice Mayor–now Maguindanao Governor-elect–Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu who was planning to run against the Ampatuans in the Maguindano gubernatorial election, reports ABS-CBNNews.com. Saliao said Ampatuan's sons and three of his daughters were at the meeting.
During the second meeting days later, suspended Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan allegedly expressed reluctance. Saliao said Ampatuan Sr. told Zaldy, "Tarantado ka, kung 'di mo susundin sinabi ko, lumayas ka na."
Saliao admitted he decided to come out because he allegedly found out that the family planned to have him killed and put the blame on the Mangudadatus. "Ang sakit kasi nun. Nagpaka-loyal ako tapos ililigpit din pala 'ko," he said, according ABS-CBNNews.com
Saliao said he stayed with the Ampatuans, even though he was allegedly no longer being paid at the time, because he considered them as family. He had been working for the Ampatuans since he was eight years old.
Saliao personally asked Cariño to reveal his face on camera to show he is no longer afraid of the Ampatuans and to convince the public he is telling the truth. Currently under the care of the prosecution in the massacre case, he will be a witness against the Ampatuans.
According to a Bandila report, the Ampatuan camp said they would only respond to Saliao's revelations in court.