Gov’t fails to overturn dismissal of Ampatuan rebellion caseBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines—The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal of the government to overturn the Quezon City Regional Trial Court’s ruling that dismissed the rebellion case against members of the Ampatuan clan.
In a three page resolution, the appeals court, through Associate Justice Elihu Ybanez of the former Special Seventeenth Division through Associate Justice Elihu Ybanez, said the Office of the Solicitor General failed to raise new arguments that would warrant a reversal of their Dec. 15, 2011 ruling.
“After a careful and judicious evaluation of the arguments raised by petitioner People of the Philippines, we see no compelling reason to modify, reverse, or set aside our decision, the same being appositely supported by law and jurisprudence,” the appeals court said.
“The issues raised are mere reiteration of the previous arguments which have already been duly considered and passed upon by this Court,” it added.
The appeals court, in its Dec. 15, 2011 ruling, said it was the prosecution’s fault that the case has been dismissed. It pointed that the Department of Justice failed to prove its claim of rebellion against the Ampatuans and their followers.
Apart from Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr. and former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan, also cleared by the lower court, through Regional Trial Court of Quezon City Judge Vivencio Baclig were Datu Anwar Ampatuan, Datu Sajid Islam Ampatuan and Datu Akmad Tato Ampatuan.
Cleared, too, were Ampatuan allies Akmad Abdullah Ulilisen, Kusain Akmad Sakilan, Duca Lendungan Amban, Jovel Vista Lopez, Rommy Gimba Mamay, Sammy Duyo Villanueva, Ibrahim Tukya Abdulkadir, Samil Manalao Mindo, Goldo Ampatuan, Amaikugao Obab Dalgan, Billy Cabaya Gabriel Jr., Abdulla Kaliangat Ampatuan, Moneb Samir Ibrahim, Umpa Ugka Yarya, Dekay Idra Ulama, Kapid Gabriel Cabaya, Koka Batong Managilid, Sammy Ganda Macabuat and Manding Abdulkadir.
The Ampatuans, however, still cannot be released from jail because they are facing a case for 57 counts of murder.