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Local politician named as suspect in Philippines massacre

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CNN adds that both the Ampatuan and Mangudadatu clans have agreed to participate in the government's investigation into the killings.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Philippine National Police are conducting a search for the man who operated the backhoe believed to have been used to bury some of the victims of Monday's attack.

Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina, PNP spokesman, said on Wednesday the backhoe operator may lead police investigators to the identities of the armed men who held hostage and later executed the victims….
Espina said the backhoe, emblazoned with the name of Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr., was apparently used to dig up the graves where some of the bodies were found.

The Inquirer also reports that police lawyers are investigating the final telephone exchange between Mangudadatu and his wife, which could be a crucial piece of evidence in the prosecution of suspects related to the massacre.

Mangudadatu said he received a text message from his wife, shortly before the massacre, that their six-car convoy had been blocked by men of the Ampatuans and that Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. had even slapped her.
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