The heir of a dominant clan is charged with 25 counts of murder Tuesday in the massacre of 57 people.
Andal Ampatuan Jr. was witnessed by at least 10 people leading gunmen, including police officers, who obstructed the election caravan of his rival before the Nov. 23 Maguindanao massacre, told Philippine prosecutor Al Calica.
After hours, slumped were bullet-riddled and chopped bodies found near the highway and quickly buried together with three vehicles in three mass graves using a backhoe.
Ampatuan turned himself in last week and denied the accusation.
"The evidence is strong," Calica mentioned, telling further that three of the witnesses were in the convoy with journalists, the wife, two sisters, aunt and many supporters of Vice Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu, Ampatuan's rival from Buluan.
Additional charges will be pushed through by the prosecutors considering that the killings were cautiously planned.
The carnage brought the whole world into condemnation, including the United Nations, United States of America, Australian and European governments.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has declared a state of emergency in Maguindanao and a neigboring province and ordered police and troops to sequester unlicensed weapons to bring back peace and order.