Politician Busted for Philippine Massacre
Powerful family blamed for murder of 57
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2009 3:59 AM CST
Members of the media try to identify their colleagues who were dumped together with three vehicles at a hillside grave in Ampatuan, Maguindanao province, southern Philippines.   (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
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(Newser) – A politician suspected of organizing the slaughter of 57 rival supporters and journalists this week has surrendered to authorities in the southern Philippines. Andal Ampatuan Jr., who was planning to run for a provincial governorship, was at the scene when gunmen stopped a convoy heading to register a rival candidate, forced people out of their vehicles, and killed them on a hillside, according to witnesses.

Security forces have disarmed a 300-strong paramilitary group controlled by the Ampatuan family and arrested 20 people, Reuters reports. Ampatuan, who denies taking part in the killings, has been flown to Manila for questioning. Members of the powerful Ampatuan clan have been prominent supporters of President Gloria Arroyo, but she expelled them from her party after the massacre.