Massacre accused says he’s victim of mistaken identityBy 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 who is among the 195 charged with 58 counts of murder in the Nov. 23, 2009, carnage.
The accused, through his lawyer Teddy Rigoroso, said that his false arrest may have been prompted by the government’s offer of a reward 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,” the defense said.
The accused lodged his appeal before Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 last week.
As proof that he was not Pindi, Piang attached to his appeal photographs of himself and that of Pindi, as well as his 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 is no evidence directly pointing to Pindi’s participation in the 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.
There are 195 accused facing 58 murder cases for the 2009 massacre, which is believed to have been masterminded by Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his family.