Andal Sr. arraignment for poll sabotage reset anew
MANILA, Philippines—The Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) has again reset to next week the arraignment of former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. for his electoral sabotage case as he remained confined at a military hospital in Quezon City supposedly due to various illnesses.
RTC Branch 112 spokesperson Felda Domingo said Judge Jesus Mupas rescheduled Ampatuan’s arraignment to March 26 to coincide with the arraignment of his co-accused, former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Benjamin Abalos Sr.
Mupas ordered Ampatuan’s lawyer, Albert Angeles, to present to the court a medical abstract prepared by his client’s doctors at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center (V. Luna Medical Hospital) as proof that the accused was indisposed on Monday, according to Domingo.
Domingo also said Ampatuan’s counsel merely relied on a medical bulletin released by his client’s custodians at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
Earlier this month, Ampatuan reportedly vomited blood while in detention at the Quezon City Jail Annex in Camp Baging Diwa, Taguig City, prompting jail guards to bring him to the Taguig-Pateros District Hospital for immediate treatment.
He was later moved to the AFP Medical Center, where doctors diagnosed the detainee to be suffering from pneumonia, diabetes and liver disease, among others.
The 70-year-old Ampatuan has been detained at Camp Bagong Diwa for allegedly masterminding massacre of at least 57 people in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao on November 23, 2009.
Ampatuan is also accused of allegedly rigging the 2007 senatorial elections in his province with election supervisor Lintang Bedol, on alleged orders of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Both of the former governor’s co-accused in the case have already been arraigned.