Posted by: JWP | 12/11/2009

Ampatuan car collection awes soldiers

‘What an arrogant display of wealth!’

By Marlon Ramos

Philippine Daily Inquirer

First Posted 02:57:00 12/11/2009

SHARIFF AGUAK, MAGUINDANAO — A fleet of luxury vehicles Thursday greeted soldiers searching for weapons at the sprawling home of Maguindanao warlord Andal Ampatuan Sr., whose family has been blamed for the Nov. 23 massacre of 57 people.

Armed with metal detectors and shovels, the troops uncovered an arms cache in a corn dryer beside the Ampatuan mansion.

In nearby Ampatuan town Thursday night, gunmen opened fire on a military convoy carrying evidence against the Ampatuans to General Santos City at around 8 p.m., but there were no immediate reports of fatalities.

Bursts of gunfire could still be heard 30 minutes later several meters from an Army checkpoint, reporters at the scene said.

A dazzling array of sport utility vehicles in an old stable amazed soldiers conducting the raid in the Ampatuan compound in the heart of an impoverished region. It resembled a showroom of expensive cars in Makati City.

“What an arrogant display of wealth!” said a shocked Army colonel.

Among the vehicles were a military-type sports truck Hummer, a Toyota Land Cruiser, a Chevrolet Suburban, a GMC luxury truck, two Toyota Hi-Lux pickup trucks, a Ford F150, an Isuzu D-Max, a Toyota Hi-Ace van and two military trucks.

Several flatbed trucks could also be seen in an adjacent parking area.

read in full…

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