Philippines mayor pleaded not guilty to massacre murder charges

On January 5, 2009, Andal Ampatuan Jr., mayor of Datu Unsay, Philippines, pleaded not guilty to 41 murder charges stemming from the November 2009 massacre of 57 opposition supporters and journalists in Maguindanao province. The plea followed the trial of 600 people charged with interfering with government operations following the massacre. Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared martial law and suspended habeus corpus rights following the rebellion that resulted from the massacre, which a later lawsuit by victims' families alleged she helped perpetrate.

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