He was seen sneering on two occasions when he left his detention cell to attend hearings in Manila. His seemingly relaxed behavior was the mien of a guilt-free person who could soundly sleep at night. But in the homes of families who believe that Andal Ampatuan Jr. was behind the slaughter of 57 people in Maguindanao, being at peace has become an unusual disposition.
“Mahirap makatulog…Kahit na nasa kulungan na sila, masarap pa rin ang buhay nila, mas mahirap pa ang buhay naming nasa labas. (It’s hard to sleep….Even if they are already in detention, their lives are still better than those of us who are outside),” said Noemi Parcon, wife of Pronteira Balita publisher Joel Parcon, one of the 31 media workers who were massacred in Maguindanao’s Ampatuan town.