The alleged operator of the backhoe used to bury victims of the Maguindanao massacre has applied for the Department of Justice’s witness protection program (WPP), a police official said.

Bong Andal asked the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to provide him and his family security while he is waiting for the result of his application for the WPP, Dir. Samuel Pagdilao, head of the CIDG, said.

Andal earlier issued a statement saying that he is willing to provide testimonies regarding the 2009 massacre in Brgy. Salman, Ampatuan, Pagdilao said.

Andal, accused of burying half of the 56 massacre victims using a backhoe owned by the Maguindanao provincial government, was arrested on Saturday in Brgy. Kapinpilan, Midsayap, North Cotabato.

He was flown to Manila and brought to the CIDG headquarters in Camp Crame on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the prosecution raised the issue on Andal’s safety and asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 to send him either to the PNP Custodial Center or the CIDG’s detention facility, Pagdilao said. (John Roson)

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