Guevarra stands by prosecutors who let Zaldy Ampatuan attend wedding
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday stood by the prosecutors who have been criticized for not blocking the motion of former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor Zaldy Ampatuan to attend his daughter’s wedding.
“The prosecution vigorously opposed Zaldy Ampatuan’s motion for a furlough to attend his daughter’s wedding but the court granted the motion for humanitarian reasons,” Guevarra said in a text message.
Trial on the case is still ongoing but Guevarra expressed confidence that the case will be submitted for resolution within the year.
“It is still on track to finish the trial this year. There are only four remaining accused who will present evidence before the Court,” Guevarra added.
The case against Zaldy Ampatuan has been submitted for resolution.
There are 197 accused in the 2009 massacre where 58 people were killed including 32 journalists.
Out of the 197 accused, 103 are currently undergoing trial for multiple murders, including prime suspect Andal Ampatuan Jr.
Also facing the same charges are Zaldy Ampatuan and another of their sibling, Datu Sajid Islam Ampatuan though he was allowed to post bail by the court in January 2015.
Another accused, former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. died in detention last July 17, 2015.
The trial court has already heard a total of 273 witnesses divided into 166 for the prosecution and 107 for the defense.
It also managed to resolve all the 15 sets of the formal offer of evidence for the bail applications of 70 accused. /vvp
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