Ex-vice mayor in Maguindanao admitted as state witness in 2009 massacre case

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MEMORIES THAT WILL NOT DIE Workers put finishing touches to a shrine where 58 Filipinos, most of them journalists, died in the infamous Maguindanao massacre. JEOFFREY MAITEM/INQUIRER MINDANAO

MANILA, Philippines — A Quezon City court has dropped a former vice mayor as an accused in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre case following his admission as a state witness by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Quezon City regional trial court branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes deferred the arraignment of former Sultan sa Barongis town vice-mayor Zukarno Badal and accepted the amended information discharging him as an accused.

In her February 13 order, Reyes ruled that Badal’s qualification to be discharged as state witness by the justice department must be respected. The former vice-mayor was admitted by the DOJ into the witness protection program on November 10, 2010.

“The court is of the opinion that said agency’s finding must be accorded with respect,’’ the judge said in granting the prosecution’s motion to exclude Badal as an accused.

State prosecutors have said that the former vice-mayor’s testimony and knowledge of the events surrounding the November 23, 2009 slaughter are necessary and can be corroborated by evidence.

They said that Badal was admitted into the DOJ witness protection program because he did not appear to be the most guilty nor had he been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude.

The arguments were opposed by former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., his two sons and some relatives, who are primarily accused of planning and orchestrating the Maguindanao massacre. Andal Ampatuan Sr. and Andal Jr. cried “prosecutorial abuse” charging the prosecution with serious mismanagement in handling cases as they claimed that seeking Badal’s exclusion violated the rules on the discharge of an accused.

They cited a pending petition in a Manila court on the propriety of Badal’s admission in the witness protection program. The prosecution claimed that the suit had already been dismissed.

The discharge of Badal brings to 194 the number of accused for the 2009 slaughter of 58 persons, including 32 mediamen.

The victims had joined a convoy of the wife of then Buluan town vice mayor Esmael Mangudadatu to Shariff Aguak to file his certificate of candidacy for governor of Maguindanao.

All the victims were killed allegedly by members of the Ampatuan clan and their henchmen in Sitio Masalay, Salman (village) near Ampatuan town, where some were buried along with their vehicles after the carnage.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZWTTKJTI57YO7TZBJC66GA2OLU dennis

    Common,let us all be direct to one another,”May nangyari na ba sa kaso?” What are we waiting for para ma-move ang sintensiya? Kataasan lang naman eh “Reclusio Perpetua” ang magiging hatol (life imprisonment) which is not enough to satisfiy justice to the victims dahil wala naman tayong “Death Penalty?”
    How about kung wag ng pakainin at mamatay na lang sa gutom? Kayo ba mga TAONG BAYAN ay papayag na ang ikinabubuhay ng mga masamang loob na ito ay kukunin sa inyong mga BUWIS???

    • batangpaslit

      you have  a point

    • Mario_Garcia

      How the victims were killed is how they (the killers) should be killed… an eye for an eye… a tooth for a tooth… with a shrine of shame erected for them.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/UWXUQZQDNSRTVWMFCUHAYA7OOA John

      Lasonin na lang sa loob ng kulungan di tapos palabasin na naheart attack

  • virgo57

    Tonetoneladang ebidensya,daandaang testigo at liboliong oras ang ginugugol laban sa mga demonyong Ampatuaans pero galaw uod pa rin ang takbo ng kaso. Di ba ang basura tinatapon at ang bulok nililibing at ang kuno tinitiris?

  • bogli_anakdami

    huh? this news is sooooo yestiddy…

    flip gung gongs have already forgotten the ampatuanization of maguindanao…

    wa epek na to… the murder case has been overcome by events, like, pinky lacson’s new thong…

    yun lang…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4R3GZTGML26TV2VGS6RVHP2THM Fred

    Bilis-bilisan po ang paglilitis.

    • Mario_Garcia

      Finished or not finished pass your papers….

  • PureBloodedPinoy247

    Sana magkaroon ng marathon hearing mga cases sa Pinas para ma update na mga kaso. Bigyan sana ng pansin ng pamahalaan ni PNOY ang pagbalasa sa sistema ng korte sa PINAS. Bigyan ng maganda gandang budget para makapag hire pa ng mga taong kailangan at makabili ng mga kagamitan at supplies para sa ikabibilis ng mga resolba sa mga kaso. Lakad pagong ang mga kaso, by the time na malitis, inaanay na mga ebidensya at namatay na lahat ang karamihan sa mga witnesses. Pahabaan ng pisi ang nangyayari. Ang masaklap pa duon, pag nakulong ang mga akusado sa BNP/Muntinlupa eh puro VIP treatment sila dun sa loob. Dapat dalhin lahat ang mga iyan sa IWAHIG at dun bulukin.

  • Mario_Garcia

    Finished or not finished pass your papers….

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