Quantcast
Latest Stories

Aquino: End Maguindanao massacre trial by 2016

By , Christine O. Avendaño

MANILA, Philippines—To ensure convictions by the time he steps down from office in 2016, President Aquino has ordered state prosecutors handling the case to oppose the dilatory tactics being employed by the alleged masterminds of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, Malacañang said on Monday.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said that “since the case is a litmus test of the Philippine justice system, it is the prosecution’s aspiration that we achieve convictions of at least the principal accused during this administration. That is the President’s challenge to the Department of Justice (DOJ),” De Lima said in a statement.

A total of 195 persons have been accused in the massacre, topped by members of the Ampatuan clan who were allegedly behind the killing of 58 people on Nov. 22, 2009, in election-related violence. So far, 105 suspects have been arrested and at least 92 arraigned.

Former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his sons, former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan and former Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., have been tagged as the alleged masterminds.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda reiterated Aquino’s instruction to the prosecutors: Oppose any attempt to delay the proceedings to ensure convictions by 2016.

“We should avoid delaying the case. On the side of the prosecution, we should oppose any dilatory tactics being employed by the other side,” Lacierda said.

He said, however, that securing convictions by 2016 would depend on the judge who has been conducting trials three times a week.

“Well, we’re trying to expedite it. There are many accused, that’s why the DOJ has been opposing any dilatory tactics,” he said. “It all depends on the judge. We’d certainly like this case resolved… without sacrificing due process.”

To avoid delays, Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes has been conducting hearings thrice weekly at the instance of the Supreme Court, which is cognizant of the fact that this is the “trial of the century,” Lacierda said.

Both Malacañang and the Supreme Court share the view that the case “must proceed in a manner that is acceptable to all concerned, especially to the victims of the massacre,” he added.

De Lima, meanwhile, said Monday she would consider herself a failure if the government fails to secure a conviction of even at least one of the principal accused in the massacre.

De Lima told reporters this was the particular challenge posed to her by the President.

Despite observations that this would be impossible, De Lima said she believed otherwise.

Discussing the status of the trial now in its third and a half year, she said the prosecution had submitted its formal offer of evidence to oppose the bail applications made by the defense, which she said was causing the trial delay.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Benigno Aquino III , Leila de Lima , Maguindanao massacre , Philippines , Rights and justice , Trial




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
Advertisement

News

  • Obama: US will defend Japan vs China
  • Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Name names, Lacson told
  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Denims that keep you cool–literally
  • 10 essential summer skin savers
  • Here’s your visual guide to all things cool, hot in summer fashion
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Corporate bonds sweeteners
  • Professionals in the family business
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement