The brother of the principal suspect in the November 23 massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao has asked the Supreme Court to prevent the national government from suspending him as governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and taking over the functions of other local officials in the ARMM who were implicated in the crime.
Zaldy Ampatuan, brother of Datu Unsay town Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., asked the high tribunal to issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Proclamation No. 1946 and Administrative Order No. 327.
He claims that the two orders signed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo are “unconstitutional” and “illegal,” and have hindered him and other ARMM officials from performing their functions.
Proclamation No. 1946 issued last November 24 placed the provinces of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City under a state of emergency, while Administrative Order No. 273 authorized Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno to exercise administrative control over ARMM, including the power to suspend local officials suspected of having a hand in the massacre.