Alleged arms supplier of Philippine massacre clan arrested

26-Mar-2010 Intellasia | AFP | 7:01 AM Print This Post

A police chief suspected of illegally supplying guns to a Philippine clan accused of massacring 57 people was re-arrested on Wednesday after escaping from jail last month, officials said.

Piang Adam was detained in the southern city of Davao after a lengthy surveillance of his hideout in a crowded housing district, said regional police head Josefino Cataluna. He was arrested while climbing a fence to flee.

Adam, the former police chief of Maguindanao province, is suspected of having supplied dozens of firearms to the Ampatuan family, a powerful political clan in Maguindanao.

Military and police personnel check ammunition recovered at the compound of governor Andal Ampatuan Snr in Shariff Aguak in the southern Philippine province of Maguindanao. Piang Adam, the former police chief of Maguindanao province, is suspected of having supplied dozens of firearms to the Ampatuan family, a powerful political clan in Maguindanao.
(AFP/File/Mark Navales)


Leaders of the clan have been charged with the murder of 57 people, including journalists and lawyers, in November last year.

They are accused of organising the massacre to stop a rival politician from challenging them in this year’s national elections.

Adam is not a defendant in that massacre case, but will instead stand trial for illegally owning guns and grenades that were found in his home in December, according to Cataluna.

He is also being investigated for the disappearance of 84 firearms in the Maguindanao armoury. He had reported that these were lost in a fire but some of them later were found in the hands of Ampatuans, police said.

Adam, who retired as Maguindanao police chief early last year, was previously arrested in December on the arms charges.

But he escaped from jail in February in an embarrassing incident that raised suspicions jail officials had colluded in the break-out.

Across the Philippines elections are plagued by violence with politicians known to use gunmen to eliminate rivals and intimidate voters. The problem is complicated by over a million unlicensed firearms, police say.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100324/wl_asia_afp/philippinespoliticsmassacrearrest_20100324161359

 


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