Ampatuan Sr. refuses arrest, tention in hospital rises

I was able to pass by the Davao Doctors Hospital this morning and saw a huge number of men in uniform, both from the military and police, around the famous hospital in Davao City, Philippines.

Davao Doc TentionI learned from a police officer that Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. is confined there due to a heart ailment, details of which he did not disclose. Past noontime, more military personnel arrived at the hospital. I got curioused so I stayed and asked people questions.

I heard that Governor Ampatuan Sr. refused a hospital arrest. According to a staff, the military wanted to transfer him to a hospital outside of Davao City but he refused to go with them, stating the reason that the city is not covered by Martial Law which was declared in the province of Maguindanao and that the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus does not apply.

The tension is high in Davao Doctors Hospital today as more and more AFP and PNP personnel arrive.

Governor Ampatuan Sr. is the father of Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., the principal suspect of an election-related violence - the Maguindanao Massacre - in Ampatuan, Maguindanao that claimed the lives of 58 victims including more than 20 members of the media. He was also reportedly accused of taking part in the crime.

Days ago, steelboxes of high-powered firearms and amunitions believed to be part of Ampatuan's arsenal were discovered in the Ampatuan ranch and vicinities surrounding their properties.

Update 12/6/09 10:40 PM: The arresting officers have entered the hospital room of Governor Ampatuan Sr. by force.