Andal Ampatuan Jr., one of the prime suspects in the Maguindanao massacre, today endorsed the candidacy of Liberal Party standard-bearer Noynoy Aquino.
Ampatuan said his entire family supports Aquino because they believe he could improve reforms in the justice system, which is now trying him and several of his relatives for rebellion and multiple murder.
According to Ampatuan:
We want Aquino to win in the elections so we can have change in our country.
Yahoo! News published a Reuters photo of Ampatuan taken at today’s press conference where he made the endorsement of Aquino.
In the photo, Ampatuan wore a plain yellow shirt and a yellow baller ID, and flashed the “L” hand sign. Yellow is Aquino’s official campaign color.
Here is a screenshot of the Ampatuan photo as published on Yahoo! News:
Tweets by @ANCAlerts and @sunstaronline also reported Ampatuan’s endorsement.
Supporters of Aquino feasted last week when photos of Ampatuan wearing an orange baller came out of the papers. Orange is the official campaign color of Aquino’s rival, Manny Villar of the Nacionalista Party.
This time though, despite Ampatuan’s own statement, Aquino supporters are implying that the endorsement was a setup.
The clashing Aquino and Villar camps have traded propaganda blow. Aquino accuses Villar of being in cahoots with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo via the “Villaroyo” tag. Villar meanwhile has fired back, painting his opponent as “GloriAquino”, stressing that members of Aquino’s clans remain entrenched in various posts in the Arroyo government.