MANILA -- Malacanang was not surprised over the implication of patriarch Andal Ampatuan Sr. in the brutal carnage of 57 innocent people in Maguindanao on November 23, 2009.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde told Sun.Star on Thursday that they are expecting the name of the former Maguindanao governor to surface since intelligence reports reaching them pointed to the official having a hand at the massacre.

“Well that is not a surprise already because we have been in receipt of intelligence reports about that,” Remonde said.

The Palace official said their knowledge of Ampatuan Sr. allegedly being one of the brains behind the massacre has been one of the grounds why Maguindanao was placed under martial law.

“Precisely these are some of the basis of our earlier declaration of Martial Law,” he cited.

During the second hearing for the murder case of former Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. Wednesday, Ampatuan’s distant relative Rasul Sangki who stood as one of the witnesses, pinpointed Ampatuan Sr. of masterminding the killing in order for their clan to stay in political power. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)