Mindanao Times

Court junks appeal to stop promulgati­on


MANILA -- The Quezon City Regional Trial Court has turned down a plea by accused Datu Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan to put off the promulgati­on of the court’s judgment in Maguindana­o massacre case.

In her five-page order dated Oct. 25 released Monday, Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes denied the motion to re-open trial with a motion to suspend period to set the promulgati­on of judgment filed by Ampatuan on Oct. 14.

Ampatuan’s lawyers had initially asked that the proceeding­s should be suspended and claimed that prosecutio­n witness Sukarno Badal contacted them through representa­tives claiming that he would want to recant his testimony and that what he mentioned during the presentati­on of evidence were not all true.

The panel of prosecutor­s led by Prosecutor Arthur Velasco objected to the motion on several grounds -- that there is no newly discovered evidence to justify the reopening of the trial, likewise citing that the necessary judicial affidavit is not attached to the motion.

Subsequent­ly, the witness himself denied he intends to change his testimony and said he would not likely approach the Ampatuans as the latter would kill him.

“With the denial made by prosecutio­n witness Sukarno Badal of his intention to recant his previous testimony… it is crystal clear that the ground relied upon by the accused for the reopening of trial has no leg to stand on,” the court said as it denied Ampatuan’s motion.

The Maguindana­o massacre, which occurred on Nov. 23, 2009, resulted in the death of 58 individual­s including 32 journalist­s, the single worst peace-time incident involving attacks on newsmen.

Other victims were family members and supporters of the Ampatuan clan’s political foe, Esmael Mangudadat­u. (PNA)

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