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Decision for Maguindanao massacre likely out before 10th anniversary in Nov. — Guevarra

/ 05:42 PM August 08, 2019
Maguindanao massacre

Police investigators look for evidence on a mangled vehicle unearthed at the crime scene where human remains were dug up from a shallow grave as investigators try to find more bodies, victims of a massacre after gunmen shot at least 50 people in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao province on Nov. 23, 2009. (File photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines – The Maguindanao massacre case may be decided before its 10th anniversary on November 23 of this year, according to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday.

“The DOJ (Department of Justice) expects that a judgment will be rendered before the 10th anniversary of the infamous massacre on 23 November 2019, and that justice will finally be served,” Guevarra said in a message to reporters.

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The infamous incident happened in November 2009, when members of the press and relatives of former Maguindanao Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu were on a convoy to a local Commission on Elections office file the latter’s certificate of candidacy. During the attack, 58 individuals including women, children, and reporters were killed.

At least 32 of the fatalities were media practitioners in what was dubbed as the worst single-attack against journalists.

The trial started on September 8, 2010, 10 months after the attack. It was placed under the jurisdiction of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC).

“The trial of the Maguindanao massacre was finally completed on 17 July 2019,” Guevarra said.

“The parties were given until 15 August 2019 to submit simultaneously their respective memorandum or written summation, after which the case shall be considered as submitted for decision, with or without the memoranda of the parties,” he added.

Last November, Guevarra assured relatives of the slain journalists that justice would come soon as the court nears its decision. President Rodrigo Duterte also previously wished that the decision be released in 2018.

READ: WHAT WENT BEFORE: The Maguindanao massacre

READ: Maguindanao massacre victims’ families welcome DOJ assurance

READ: Duterte wants Maguindanao massacre convictions ‘this year’

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TAGS: Ampatuan, Department of Justice, Maguindanao massacre, Philippine news updates, Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Toto Mangudadatu
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