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11月22日のまにら新聞から

Mangundadatu hopes ''100%'' of major suspects in Maguindanao be convicted of multiple murder

[ 849 words|2019.11.22|英字 (English) ]

After a month of delay, Maguindanao Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu hopes ''100 percent'' of major suspects in the 2009 Ampatuan massacre will be convicted of multiple murder.

In a Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) forum in Quezon City, Mangudadatu asked Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 to give all the families of victims the justice they have been seeking for almost 10 years already.

“I hope 100 percent of major suspects will be convicted,” he said.

Fifty-eight people, including 32 journalists, accompanying the wife of gubernatorial candidate Mangudadatu , in the filing of his certificate of candidacy, were killed on November 23, 2009.

There are 197 suspects who were initially charged for the massacre, 117 people have been arrested including prominent members of the Ampatuan clan who were pointed as the mastermind.

Seven died while in detention, including former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr.

Charges against nine others have been dropped, including three who were allowed to become state witnesses and eleven of them are out on bail.

“This is a call to Judge Solis-Reyes, please, please give us the justice we are seeking for. 10 years is enough and I hope that the one month extension, before December 20 the resolution will be release that will convict them (accuse),” he said.

Mangudadatu said he cannot accept if former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Zaldy Ampatuan will not be fully convicted.

“No because according to the witnesses, before the execution was happened there was a preliminary planning, long before the slaughtering of my wife and other relatives and media friends happened, there is a plan between Zaldy and among the (Ampatuan) family,” he said.

The lawmaker said he did not choose “rido” to solve the case because of the Christian victims and it will not be of difference to Ampatuan if they choose that way.

“We will not go for rido. If it is rido, it will not end,” Mangudadatu said.

According to the victims’ lawyer, Nena Santos, they presented enough witnesses and evidence to prove the crime committed by the respondents.

“Our position is we can get a conviction of all major players of Maguindanao massacre and also people who assisted them like the policemen and civil volunteers of who were at the crime scene and of who were during the planning and those who executed plans to hide the crime after it was committed,” Santos said.

“So we believe we have presented enough witnesses and evidence,” she added.

Santos said they believed Solis-Reyes is fair because of her strictness during their presentation of evidences.

“(When) the prosecution is the one presenting their evidences, the judge is very strict to us unlike when the defense presented their evidence so we believe she pushed us to really present evidence for conviction,” she said.

“Our major witnesses points to the planning, and the execution and the cover up to them (Ampatuans). Including their cohorts, the policemen and their civilian volunteers who were part of the case,” she said.

On November 8, the Supreme Court has granted the request of Solis-Reyes for a one-month extension to resolve the decade-old Maguindanao massacre case, because of this, the resolution is expected to be released before December 20.

According to Santos, even if the verdict comes out, they will still not lie low because there are still 81 at large, including Datu Saudi Ampatuan Jr.

“If they will be apprehended, then a new trial will begin again. And there is yet to be resolved by the Department of Justice, the 50 respondents who are the second batch of the participants of the massacre so this is a continuing effort,” she said.

She said the DOJ is expected to release the resolution for the 50 more respondents after the QC RTC released their resolution.

Santos said layers on how to get a witness is one of the reasons why the case took so long.

“The reason why it took for so long is that there are layers of how to get witnesses. You go to the datu then the datu will talk to the mayor. The mayor will talk to the governor and the governor will talk to you… if they do not trust you, you will never get them to testify. I have to go to that process but thankfully because there are many who help us,” she said.

She said almost 400 witnesses were presented by the prosecution and the defense.

“So if you can just imagine how the trial goes with three day trial per week and the other days will be for the preparation of the witnesses that we have,” she said.

As of now, Santos said four witnesses were killed while two recanted.

Asked about Zaldy Ampatuan who is still in the hospital, Santos said his sickness will not have an effect on his conviction.

“We are kind people and if someone is sick, you have him treated. What we wanted for him is to be convicted... even when the convicted person is sick they can go to hospital,” she said. Ella Dionisio/DMS