Murder victim's family wants Akmad Ampatuan dropped from WPP
MAGUINDANAO, Philippines – The family of an alleged murder victim of former Datu Salibo, Maguindanao mayor Akmad Ampatuan has appealed to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to exclude the former official from the Witness Protection Program.
The family of Al-Khail Mamalangkay, a jail warden of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) allegedly killed by Akmad on October 6, 1998, made the appeal to the Cabinet official in a 5-page letter dated March 29.
The letter, a copy of which was provided to Rappler, has been sent to De Lima's office.
Akmad is a close relative and a trusted man of Andal Ampatuan Sr, one of the principal accused in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre case. He has been placed in the WPP after he survived an ambush in March.
De Lima had earlier said that Akmad is one of the two major witnesses in the second wave of complaints against 50 new suspects, including 14 Ampatuans, 4 of them incumbent mayors in Maguindanao.
In his letter to De Lima, the family said they have certification from the Court of Appeals that their murder case against Akmad has not been dismissed.
"When we learned that he was arrested at the Makati City Medical Hospital and you disclosed that he will be under the government protection program, we lost our hope to get the justice," Wahab Mamalangkay, Al-Khail's father, said in the letter.
He added: "If he will be used as witness, how about the death of my son. It's been 17 years now. Until when are we going to wait for the justice?"
Mamalangkay also said that the wife of his son received P2 million in exchange for signing an affidavit of settlement which the court did not accept as basis for dismissing the case.
"We will continue to fight for the justice of my son. We are entreating you Secretary. We want justice. Hope you can help us," he said.
Sukarno, Al-Khail's youngest brother, said in a phone interview that he was hanging out with his brother, the suspect who was then a family friend, and two others inside Connie's Restaurant along Sinsuat Avenue in Cotabato City around 10:45 pm on Ocober 6, 1998.
He said he saw Ampatuan shooting his brother at close range. Al-Khail sustained a gunshot wound in the head and died on the spot.
"I ran immediately after seeing that incident and went in hiding until now because he was still looking for me," Sukarno said.
The family had asked authorities to serve the arrest warrant on Akmad, but none of them did as the suspect is powerful and influential.
The letter to De Lima was also signed by the victim's mother, 80-year-old Tankli; and Kombol and Belta, siblings of the slain jail warden. – Rappler.com