Article published on the 2009-11-27 Latest update 2009-11-27 09:30 TU
An army officer escorts Andal Ampatuan Jr. (C), mayor of Datu Unsay town, after he surrendered in Ampatuan, Maguindanao in southern Philippines 26 November 2009.
The move came a day after the main suspect in the killings was shot at while being transported by helicopter to Manila to face charges.
Local mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr, picked up by helicopter from his mansion in Maguindanao province, was unharmed after the attack, though his pilot was forced to make evasive manoeuvres.
Soldiers aboard the helicopter returned fire, but there were no known casualties on either side.
Ampatuan was formally charged with murder on Friday, while nine members of a powerful clan once allied to President Gloria Arroyo, including a provincial governor were also declared suspects.
Police allege that about 100 of Ampatuan's armed bodyguards massacred a convoy of aides and relatives of a rival politician, plus a group of journalists, on Monday. Fifty-seven bodies have been recovered.
Ampatuan denied involvement and blamed Muslim separatist rebels waging a decades-old rebellion in the south.
2009-11-26 08:02 TU