Third witness in Philippines massacre trial murdered


The bodies of female members of a political clan lie on the ground at the scene of a massacre on the outskirts of Ampatuan, Maguindanao in southern Philippines, Nov. 24, 2009.


Erik de Castro

A third witness who provided testimony in a trial over an election-related massacre in November 2009 in the Philippines has been murdered, prosecutors said Thursday.

Esmail Amil Enog testified last year that he had driven gunmen to a site in the lawless southern province of Maguindanao where 57 people – including 31 journalists – were murdered whilst travelling with a group that was trying to put an opposition candidate on the ballot, The New York Times reports.

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A driver for the influential Ampatuan family, whom prosecutors accuse of orchestrating the attack, Enog’s body was reportedly mutilated and dismembered before he died.

According to, Enog is thought to have been killed two months ago, but prosecutors only recently became aware of his murder. Prosecutor Nena Santos said he had rejected an offer to be placed under the Philippines’ Witness Protection Program.

Enog is the third witness to have been murdered since the trial began at a maximum security jail in the capital city of Manila in 2010, the Associated Press reports.

More than 20 individuals have testified against 103 suspects who have entered not guilty pleas to charges of murder. Another 100 suspects have not yet been taken into captivity.