Justice is alive: Mangudadatu grateful for guilty verdict vs Ampatuans
MANILA, Philippines — Justice is alive and it has been served.
Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu said this Thursday as he welcomed the guilty verdict against several members of the influential Ampatuan clan over the gruesome Maguindanao massacre that claimed the lives of 58 people, among them his wife and 32 journalists.
“Bagama’t hindi lahat ng akusado ay nahatulan ng pagkakakulong, kami ay nagagalak pa rin dahil ang mga dapat masakdal ay nakatakda ng makulong pang habang-buhay,” said the congressman in a statement.
“Although not all the accused were sentenced to imprisonment, we are glad still because those who must be judged guilty are set to go to jail for life.)
Aside from his wife, other female relatives of Mangudadatu were also killed in the November 23, 2009 carnage – considered the country’s worst election-related violence and the world’s single deadliest attack on journalists.
“Ang sampung taong paghihintay ay naging makabuluhan dahil tayo ang kinatigan ng hustisya,” Mangudadatu said.
(The 10-year wait has become meaningful because justice sided with us.)
“Ang pangyayaring ito ay patunay lamang na buhay na buhay ang hustisya sa ating bansa at hindi kailan man magiging mali ang pagpili sa tama at pagtitiwala ng lubos sa Diyos at sa ating saligang batas,” he continued.
(This incident only proves that justice is much alive in our country and it will never be wrong to choose what is right and trust God fully and our Consitution.)
After almost 10 years of trial, Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes has found former Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor Zaldy Ampatuan, Anwar Ampatuan Sr., Anwar “Ipi” Ampatuan Jr., and Anwar Sajid “Ulo” Ampatuan and others guilty for the murder of 57 people.
They were given the penalty of reclusion perpetua or up to 40 years imprisonment without the benefit of parole
However, the court acquitted them for the 58th victim, photojournalist Reynaldo “Bebot” Momay, whose body was never found except for his dentures.
Meanwhile, four Ampatuans, Akmad alias “Tato,” Sajid Islam, Jonathan, Jimm, and others were cleared in the multi-murder case on the ground of reasonable doubt.
In 2009, the victims were on a convoy heading to Shariff Aguak town to file Mangudadatu’s certificate of candidacy for governor of Maguindanao when the 58 were brutally murdered.
Then incumbent governor Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his son and namesake Datu Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan Jr., who was gunning to be his father’s successor, were considered as mastermind in the gruesome murders. The clan patriarch died in 2015.
Edited by KGA
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