Tag Archives: AMPATUANS

MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE: Fight for ‘full justice’ continues

Fight for ‘full justice’ continues for massacre victims

 November 23, 2020

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The families of journalists here, who were killed in the grisly Ampatuan massacre on Nov. 23, 2009, vowed on Monday to sustain the fight for “full justice” for the victims — no matter how long it will take.The victims’ families reiterated the commitment… Read More

Gov’t won’t stop hunting down other Ampatuan massacre suspects

Justice has been achieved under the Duterte administration but many suspects remain at large

 November 23, 2020

On the 11th anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre, Malacañang on Monday vowed that government will continue hunting down suspects who are still at large and pursue charges against them.Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this statement to commemorate the massacre in… Read More

DOJ indicts 8 in second set of Ampatuan massacre suspects

Maguindanao massacre: Palace hopes justice will be served

THE MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE

Justice at last!

With only two days left before the court announces its verdict on the 2009 Maguindanao massacre case, Malacañang on Tuesday pinned hope that justice will finally be served for the victims of the gruesome crime.“Well the court will decide on the basis of evidence so we hope… Read More

 

Gov’t exerted all efforts to secure justice 

Government lawyers did all they can to give justice to the victims of the Maguindanao massacre case, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Tuesday, two days before the scheduled promulgation of the court’s decision on the case.

“I cannot comment on that because I might preempt the promulgation. I have no idea as to how it will go but what I can say is that the prosecutors presented all that it can. It did its best. That is all I can say,” Guevarra said when asked of the possible decision on the case.
“As to how the judge will appreciate the evidence, I am not sure about that so let’s go through it and see,” he added.
On Tuesday, Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 221 Presiding Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes ordered Zaldy Ampatuan, one of the accused to be sent back to Camp Bagong Diwa from his detention at the Makati Medical Center where he is recuperating following a stroke.
A number of setbacks had plagued the Department of Justice in previous administration’s efforts to prosecute members of the Ampatuan clan for the incident on November 23, 2009, which resulted in the death of 58 individuals, including 32 newsmen.
Then Justice Secretary Alberto Agra, during the Arroyo administration, was roundly criticized for his decision then to drop the charges against two of the Ampatuans implicated in the case.
Barely a year into the proceedings in 2010, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Leo Dacera who led the government’s prosecution team, then 52, died from cardiac arrest.
There have also been reports of millions of pesos in bribes and threats made to prosecutors, victims’ families and witnesses.
A total of 117 people have been arrested including members of the Ampatuan clan. Seven of them died while in detention, including former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. There are still 80 accused who remain at large. (PNA)

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Prosecutors want Ampatuan back in jail

No sympathy for mass murderers

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Government lawyers have formally asked the court trying the Maguindanao massacre case to order principal accused Zaldy Ampatuan’s return to jail from the Makati hospital where he is presently seeking treatment.

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THE MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE

In a manifestation dated November 22 to Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn A. Solis-Reyes, prosecutors led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutors Olivia L. Torrevillas and Tofel G. Austria said the court “should now stop extending so much grace, sympathy or concern to accused Zaldy Ampatuan but has to act firmly and with an iron hand to prevent any untoward contingency while its decision is still underway”.
The prosecutors noted that Ampatuan is still being confined at the Makati Medical Center “without any certainty and/or definite date on when he will be finally discharged therefrom.”

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Quest for justice should continue beyond massacre verdict: Egco

Victims’ kin commemorate Maguindanao massacre

They requested the “immediate return of PDL Zaldy Ampatuan to the Quezon City Jail Annex, Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, or in the alternative to augment and/or tighten the security measures against the accused to preclude any possibility of his escape.”
“To the mind of the prosecution panel, there is no longer any need for accused Zaldy to be continuously confined at the Makati Medical Center since he is only now undergoing physical and occupational therapy, which procedure can be undertaken or done at his detention facility in Taguig City,” the prosecutors added.
In a letter dated November 19 to Solis-Reyes, Makati City Jail Superintendent Warden Jhon D. Montero of the Quezon City Jail said Ampatuan remains at a hospital in Makati City less than a month before the deadline of the promulgation of the case
“In the alternative, should accused Zaldy’s retention at the Makati Med be necessary, that security personnel guarding him be augmented to ensure that he can never take flight,” the motion read.
Montero said Ampatuan had been in the Intensive Care Unit for one week from October 22 to October 29 before he was transferred to a regular room on the afternoon of October 29. The letter noted that Ampatuan is “still confined with continuous physical therapy and occupational therapy for plegic left arm.”
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court (SC) granted the request of Solis-Reyes for more time to come up with a decision.
Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said the court considered the huge volume of evidence and parties in the case in giving a 30-day extension to Solis-Reyes. Under court rules, all trial courts should promulgate their decision within the 90-day period after the case has been submitted for decision.
The case has been submitted for decision on August 22 which means the deadline for its promulgation should have been on November 20, three days before the massacre’s 10th anniversary on November 23.
The Quezon City court now has until December 20 to decide the case.
The attack resulted in the death of 58 people, including 32 journalists and media workers, the single worst peace-time incident involving the killing of newsmen.
Other victims were family members and supporters of the Ampatuan clan’s political foe, Esmael Mangudadatu. (PNA)

MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE UP FOR DECISION

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PTFoMS expects favorable ruling to Maguindanao massacre victims

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The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) expressed optimism on Friday that the court will rule in favor of the families of victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.

ampatuan 7“We expect that justice will ultimately prevail for the victims and their families,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar, co-chairperson of the PTFoMS, said in a statement.

Andanar’s statement came after the Supreme Court has granted the 30-day extension of the deadline requested by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) to rule on the multiple murder case against nearly 200 individuals tagged in the massacre of 58 people in Maguindanao province in 2009.

The High Court extended the deadline for the ruling on the cases against the accused after Quezon City RTC Branch 221 Presiding Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes had sought more time to look into the “voluminous records” of the cases.

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THE AMPATUANS

The “voluminous” records include 165 volumes of records of proceedings, 65 volumes of transcripts of stenographic notes, and eight volumes of the prosecution’s documentary evidence.

The verdict was supposed to be released on or before November 20, but the Supreme Court extended it until December 20.

PTFoMS co-chairperson, Undersecretary Joel Egco was hopeful that the families of the victims would finally get justice, a decade after the mass murder in Maguindanao.

“It is worth the wait. What is one month compared to 10 years? Lower courts usually go on Christmas break in mid-December. So the decision may be out by December 14,” he said.

“Without pre-empting the outcome, I am optimistic that the families of the victims will finally get the justice that they have been waiting for the last decade,” he added.

A total of 58 people, including 32 journalists and media workers, were on their way to the Commission on Elections’ local office to witness the filing of candidacy of then Buluan vice mayor Esmael Mangudadatu for 2010 gubernatorial race when they were flagged and killed by gunmen in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao on November 23, 2009.

Multiple murder cases were filed against Datu Andal Ampatuan, the principal accused in the case, and 196 co-accused.

Egco attributed the impending conclusion of the Maguindanao massacre case to the Duterte administration’s “political will”.

Andanar lauded those who worked hard in bringing closure to the “worst case of election-related violence.”

“We cannot help but be amazed at the dedication of the men and women of the law enforcement units, prosecutors, and most especially, the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, whose passion for their work is exceeded only by their desire to see this case through its conclusion,” he said.

“This is another addition to President Duterte’s legacy, that one of the most despicable acts against journalists in the history of the world will finally come to a close during his term,” he added.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who also chairs the PTFoMS, earlier expressed confidence that the prosecution would secure “a just decision at least as against the principal accused”. (PNA)