Planners of Maguindanao massacre found guilty of murder in Philippines 'trial of the decade'

Suspects in the Maguindanao Massacre are escorted by policemen as they arrive at Camp Bagong Diwa, where a court will issue a verdict on the crime, on December 19, 2019 in Manila, Philippines.

Manila, Philippines (CNN)The men who planned a massacre which rocked the Philippines' political establishment more than a decade ago have been found guilty of murder.

On November 23, 2009, 58 people were killed in the town of Ampatuan, in the southern province of Maguindanao. Their bodies were buried in three shallow graves on a hilltop.
The wife and sister of political candidate Ismael "Toto" Mangudadatu and 30 journalists were among the victims.
Mangudadatu had sent his family members to file paperwork allowing him to run for governor of Maguindanao.
    Their convoy was ambushed, sprayed with bullets -- after which the survivors were ruthlessly hunted down and executed.
    Mangudadatu was running to end the 20-year rule of the Ampatuan family. His rival in the election was Datu Andal Ampatuan, Jr., also known as Unsay, mayor of Datu Unsay town, and son of the incumbent governor, Andal Ampatuan, Sr.
    On Thursday, a judge in Manila found Ampatuan Jr. -- along with several other relatives and primary suspects -- guilty on multiple accounts of murder. They were sentenced to life in prison.
    "This is momentous verdict should hel