Accused in Maguindanao massacre asks for bail, professes innocenceBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—A civilian charged with murder in connection with the Maguindanao massacre is asking a Quezon City court to let him post bail, claiming he was a victim of mistaken identity.
In his four-page motion, Bimbo S. Piang argued that he was not the Sonny K. Pindi, among the 195 charged with 58 counts of murder in the Nov. 23, 2009 carnage.
The accused, through his lawyer Teddy Rigoroso, added that his wrongful arrest may have been prompted by the government’s reward money for the arrest of those behind the mass killings.
“Piang is therefore begging for the compassionate justice of the court that he be allowed to post bail considering that whoever may have falsely pointed to him as Pindi was merely motivated by the P250,000 reward money,” the defense said.
The accused lodged his appeal with Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the Quezon City regional trial court’s Branch 221 last week.
As proof that he is not Pindi, Piang attached to his appeal his photographs and that of Pindi’s, as well as government IDs.
“Based on the photographs alone, the court can conclude that Piang is not Pindi and Piang cannot be referred to as Pindi, as there is really a person named Sonny K. Pindi,” the accused said.
The defense added that without admitting that Piang was Pindi, there was no evidence directly pointing to Pindi’s supposed participation in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.
“Even in the remote possibility that Piang may be considered as Sonny K. Pindi, there is no strong evidence of his guilt and therefore he is also entitled to bail,” Rigoroso said of his client.
The 2009 massacre is believed to have been masterminded by Andal Ampatuan Jr. and his family.