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3d witness found dead in Philippines

MANILA - A third witness in the deadliest election-related violence in Philippine history has been killed in what appears to be an attempt to eliminate or intimidate those who can testify in the case, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Esmail Amil Enog, who testified last year that he drove gunmen to the site of the 2009 massacre in the southern province of Maguindanao, was mutilated and dismembered before being killed, said the prosecutor, Nena Santos. Enog was killed in March, but prosecutors only recently learned of his death.

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He is the third witness killed since the trial opened in 2010.

“We will catch the assailants and the masterminds,’’ Santos pledged in a text message.

In November 2009, 57 people - including 31 members of the media - in Maguindanao were executed with a group that was attempting to register an opposition candidate.

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