CA nixes 3 Maguindanao massacre witnesses
The Court of Appeals has rejected anew the request of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to present as government witnesses three men who had been indicted for the gruesome 2009 Maguindanao massacre.
In a July 10 ruling, the appeals court’s Former Special 13th Division said the DOJ prosecutors failed to present new arguments to justify a reversal of its May 27, 2015, decision which blocked their motion seeking to turn former town Councilor Mohammad Sangki and former police officers Ariel Diongon and Rainier Ebus as state witnesses.
The three were among the nearly 200 individuals charged with multiple murder for the killing of 58 individuals, among them 32 media workers, in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao province, on Nov. 23, 2009.
The grisly incident, which was allegedly masterminded by members of the Ampatuan clan, was the most violent election-related crime in the country’s recent history and the single deadliest attack on the media anywhere in the world.
No reason to reverse
“The arguments raised by [the DOJ] in its motion have already been judiciously considered before we rendered our judgment as these were among the issues presented in their [original] petition,” the appeals court said in a six-page resolution.
“The motion has not raised any new substantial legitimate ground or reason which would warrant a modification, much less, a reversal of our decision,” it added.
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