QC court asked to designate cop, civilian as state witnesses in massacre caseBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines–Prosecutors are asking a Quezon City court to designate as state witnesses in the Maguindanao massacre case a policeman and a civilian who will testify on the alleged participation of police officers and militiamen in the carnage over two years ago.
In separate pleadings, the panel led by deputy regional state prosecutor Peter Medalle said there is “an absolute necessity” for the testimonies of Inspector Rex Ariel Diongon and Esmael Kanapia, who are among the 195 accused.
Medalle et al. sought for the court to discharge the two men as state witnesses.
Diongon will identify Datu Sajid Ampatuan, Superintendent Abudama Mundas Maguid, Al Haj, Supt. Bahnarin Kamaong, Senior Insp. Abdulgapor Abad, and members of the 1507th and 1508th Maguindanao provincial mobile group allegedly involved in the massacre.
On the other hand, Canapia will testify as to the involvement of accused militia members Edres Kasan, Zacaria Akil, Sonny Pindi, etc.
The two separate motions to discharge were filed last Friday.
The prosecution noted that the two potential witnesses do not appear to be the most guilty and that so far, there is no other direct evidence against the said accused except for their testimonies.
In Diongon’s case, the prosecution said his testimony is absolutely needed since the accused policemen have not yet been identified in court as among the alleged participants of the massacre.
The prosecution had earlier asked Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Regional Trial Court Branch 221 to remove Diongon from the list of accused but this was denied by the court.
The lawyers of the policemen from the 1507th and 1508th PMG have been asking the prosecution to rest its case against their clients’ bail petition, saying the prosecution has not yet presented any evidence against their clients.
Members of the Ampatuan clan, including its patriarch former governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his son and namesake, principal suspect Andal Jr., are among those charged for the deaths of at least 57 people in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao on Nov. 23, 2009.