Duterte "dismayed" Maguindanao massacre suspect Ampatuan granted furlough
President Rodrigo Duterte was "dismayed" that Maguindanao massacre suspect former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan was granted a furlough by the court to attend the wedding of his daughter in a hotel in Pasay City.
This as presidential daughter Davao City Vice Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and other Cabinet officials who were tapped as among the principal sponsors in the controversial wedding said they were not present during the August 21 ceremony.
"Officially, the panel of the prosecutors and the President... opposed that motion and we're dismayed that it was granted. That's the official stand," he said.
Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes granted Ampatuan a three-hour furlough to attend the wedding reception of his daughter Kristina at the Sofitel Hotel.
This drew criticisms, particularly among families of the victims of the Maguindanao massacre on Nov. 23, 2009.
The National Union Journalists of the Philippines was also asking for a credible explanation why Ampatuan was allowed to attend the wedding.
Ampatuan, along with other primary suspects in the massacre of 58 people, including 32 journalists, has been detained in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.
Some 60 individuals, including Duterte-Carpio, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go, and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza, were listed as "principal sponsors" in Ampatuan daughter's wedding.
Duterte-Carpio said she was not at the wedding.
Asked if she received an invitation, the presidential daughter said she would ask her office.
Medialdea, on the other hand, confirmed he was asked to be the godparent of Ampatuan's daughter. It was the side of Katrina's husband who invited him to be one of the wedding sponsors.
But Medialdea said he was not able to make it.
"Yes, I was asked by the Samama family to be a godparent of the couple but I had to graciously excuse myself from attending because of prior engagement," he said.
Go also said he did not receive any wedding invitation.
In a separate text message, Dureza said he did not attend the wedding because he was in Davao, attending other events.
While Duterte's daughter and some Cabinet officials were tapped as principal sponsors in Ampatuan daughter's wedding, Roque assured that the multiple murder cases filed against the former governor and his other relatives for allegedly masterminding the Maguindanao massacre would not be affected.
"I can assure you this will not affect the case. And I think you know why I can give that assurance," said Roque, who was one of the lawyers of the families of the victims of the Maguindanao massacre. Celerina Monte/DMS