Ampatuan Jr. trial begins

MANILA, Philippines — The trial of the prime suspect in the worst political massacre in the Philippines began shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday, placing the nation’s corruption-plagued political and justice systems under the microscope.

Expected to be tackled during the hearing is the motion for bail of Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr.

Live coverage of the trial was prohibited and all photographers and cameramen were told to leave the court room before the start of the trial.

Ampatuan Jr. is charged with multiple murders over the killings of at least 57 people in November, including pregnant women who were relatives of a political rival and about 30 journalists, in the violence-wracked Mindanao.

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