What price wife’s loss? P100M, says MangudadatuBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu would rather see those responsible for the killing of his wife meted out the death penalty, but when asked in court yesterday what price he would put for the suffering it had caused him, he mentioned P100 million at the very least.
“My children and I went through so much because of what happened,” Mangudadatu said at the resumption of his testimony in the trial of members of the once powerful Ampatuan clan for the Maguindanao massacre on Nov. 23, 2009.
When asked by private prosecutor Prima Jesusa Quinsayas how much he was seeking in moral damages, Mangudadatu said his wish was for the accused to die on the electric chair.
But Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the Regional Trial Court Branch 221 in Quezon City said the governor’s reply was unresponsive to the question.
The P100-million figure that Mangudadatu cited was apart from another P100 million he was seeking for exemplary damages.
Mangudadatu continued his testimony Thursday in his capacity as the husband of Genalyn, one of his many female relatives killed in the massacre of 57 people, including 31 journalists.
The Maguindanao governor last saw his wife on Nov. 18, 2009, and last talked to her on the day of the massacre when Genalyn called him for help. The next time he saw her was at a funeral parlor.
“I could imagine how they were beaten, shot, stabbed in the back, how she was shot in the private part, mouth, breast, hands. I can imagine how she pleaded for mercy,” Mangudadatu told the court, recalling his anguish.
So much was his grief that he wanted to disappear too, he said.
Genalyn was buried on Nov. 25, with funeral expenses reaching at least P2 million. Mangudadatu also cited his expenses in prosecuting the case, which included transportation and accommodation in Manila for the actual damages.
After the burial, Mangudadatu, then the vice mayor of Buluan town, filed the complaint against the Ampatuans whom he suspected of being behind the massacre.
The convoy of supporters and journalists was blocked by about a hundred gunmen while on the way to file Mangudadatu’s certificate of candidacy for governor, challenging the leadership of the Ampatuans in Maguindanao.
Mangudadatu said such crimes should never happen in a free democracy.
“You are just running for public office, why should you be killed? They were just media covering the event, why should they be killed?” he asked.
A few days after the massacre, Mangudadatu saw Andal Ampatuan Jr., the alleged mastermind.
“When I saw him, I really wanted to punch him, because of the pain and grief that I felt,” Mangudadatu said.
The governor will be recalled to the witness stand on July 19 for cross-examination by the defense panel.Mangudadatu’s anguish at the loss of his wife in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre had a steep price—P100 million at the very least—and he is seeking another P100 million in exemplary damages..
Originally posted at 04:53 pm | Thursday, June 28, 2012