MANILA, Philippines – Government prosecutors Thursday urged a Quezon City court to set aside a decision deferring Zaldy Ampatuan’s arraignment on multiple-murder charges in connection with the Maguindanao massacre.
The government panel led by state prosecutor Peter Medalle said the court admitted Ampatuan’s motion for leave to file his appeal on his arraignment despite the lack of justification for the belated filing.
The prosecution was referring to Ampatuan’s April 18 pleading asking the court to reverse its April 2 order setting his arraignment for April 26.
Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Regional Trial Court Branch 221 ordered Ampatuan to be arraigned after junking appeals he brought in 2010 for lack of merit.
But during a hearing on April 25, Reyes granted Ampatuan’s motion for leave to file a motion for reconsideration and deferred his arraignment pending the resolution of his new appeal.
In their pleading, the prosecutors said Ampatuan’s motion was a mere rehash of the arguments he offered in a petition for reinvestigation submitted to the Court of Appeals.
They pointed out that the appellate court had already denied that petition.