Civil suit vs Gloria Arroyo now in court | Inquirer News

Civil suit vs Gloria Arroyo now in court

/ 04:25 AM November 26, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—A civil action seeking millions of pesos in damages from former President Macapagal-Arroyo in connection with her alleged involvement in the Maguindanao massacre is now in the sala of a Quezon City judge.

The undocketed civil complaint of Ramonita S. Salaysay et al. against Arroyo was raffled off to Regional Trial Court Branch 104 on Thursday afternoon, court records showed. The 13-page complaint was forwarded to Judge Catherine Manodon on Friday.

A court clerk told the Inquirer that the first hearing had been set for Dec. 9 at 8:30 a.m. It will hear the 15 plaintiffs’ motion that they be allowed to litigate the P15-million damage suit as indigents and therefore be exempt from paying court fees.


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Manodon was the former presiding judge of Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 42, where she presided over the complaints against a University of the Philippines student for animal cruelty and actor Robin Padilla for a violation of the building code, among others. She was recently promoted to a seat in the regional trial court.

On Tuesday, relatives of 13 journalists and two other victims of the Maguindanao massacre asked the court to hold Arroyo civilly liable because of her ties to the Ampatuans, alleged masterminds of the carnage.

The families asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court to award each of them P1 million—P500,000 for moral damages and P500,000 in exemplary damages.

They were represented and accompanied by lawyers Harry Roque, Romel Bagares, Gilbert Andres and Joel Butuyan.

The plaintiffs in the complaint are Ramonita Salaysay, Zenaida Duhay, Juliet Evardo, Ma. Cipriana Gatchalian, Arlyn Lupogan, Catherine Nunez, Editha Tiamzon, Erlyn  Umpad, Alejandro Reblando Jr., Ma. Reynafe Momay-Castillo, Noemi Parcon, Glenna Legarta, Mary Jean Merisco, and Stephanie Lechonsito.


Arroyo, now Pampanga representative, is the sole defendant, arising from her being the president at the time of the massacre on Nov. 23, 2009. The complaint is based on the premise of command responsibility.

Murder charges

Members of the Ampatuan clan led by Andal Ampatuan Jr. are facing multiple murder charges before Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Regional Trial Court Branch 221.

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Ampatuan Jr. is one of 196 defendants accused of killing 57 persons who were in a convoy of vehicles to witness the filing of the certificate of candidacy of then Buluan Vice Mayor Toto Mangudadatu.

TAGS: civil suit

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