SOME 20 members of the Civilian Volunteer Organization (CVO), who are former members of Ampatuan's private army, are set to surrender in Maguindanao province.

This was revealed by Maguindanao police Director Marcelo Pintac after receiving surrender feelers from the group who were part of the private army of former Datu Unsay Mayor Datu Andal Ampatuan Jr., who is the principal suspect in the massacre of 57 people, most of whom media workers, on November 23, 2009 in Ampatuan town.

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According to one Sambulah (real name withheld for security reasons), a member of the CVO, they are scared as another group is allegedly out to liquidate them.

Pintac said the 20 members are ready to testify against the Ampatuans in relation to the Maguindanao massacre.

Maguindanao Governor Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu, whose wife and two sisters were among the victims of the infamous Maguindanao massacre, is pleased with the news. He said that the testimonies of the group will help the families of the victims achieve justice.

Justice Now Movement (JNM) chair Ric Cachuela admitted that the families of the massacre victims have been receiving offers to withdraw the case in exchange for a large sum of money.

However, he said they will remain steadfast in their fight for justice.

The military and police have joined hands to pursue all members of the private armed groups in Maguindanao, including those involved in the massacre. (Edgardo Fuerzas)