MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City Regional Trial Court has set the arraignment of a son and a son-in-law of former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. after denying their petitions for the dismissal of the murder charges against them for the killing of 58 persons in Maguindanao in 2009.
Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the Quezon City RTC Branch 22 scheduled the arraignment of Sajid Islam Ampatuan and Akmad Ampatuan, for June 26. Sajid is the brother of former Datu Unsay town mayor Andal Jr., the primary accused in the massacre, and Zaldy Ampatuan, the former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and a co-accused in the case. Akmad is a son-in-law of Andal Sr., also the accused mastermind of the 2009 slaughter.
Aside from the five, Anwar Ampatuan Sr. and his sons Anwar Sajid and Anwar Jr., have yet to be arraigned for the Maguindanao massacre.
Sajid and Akmad will be arraigned at the Quezon City Jail annex at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.
In denying their petitions to dismiss their cases, the judge said the arguments the two raised were the same that were set aside and denied by the court in previous pleadings.
Sajid Islam had claimed he was included in the charge sheet on the basis of an allegedly perjured sworn statement of prosecution witness Kenny Dalandag, while Akmad claimed that there was no proof at all to his participation in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.
Reyes, however, upheld the finding of probable cause against the two for the Nov. 23, 2009 killing of 58 persons, including 32 mediamen, at Sitio Masalay, Barangay (village) Salman near Ampatuan town in Maguindanao province.