QC court dismisses legal challenges of Ampatuans
A Quezon City court has junked the bids of two Ampatuans challenging their indictment for the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, paving the way for their arraignment.
After more than three years of legal tussles, Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Regional Trial Court Branch 221 dismissed for lack of merit the petitions of Akmad “Tato” Ampatuan Sr. and Sajid Islam Ampatuan.
Akmad is a son-in-law and nephew of clan patriarch Andal Ampatuan Sr., one of the suspected masterminds of the massacre.
Sajid Islam is a son of Andal Sr. and a brother of principal accused Andal Ampatuan Jr.
The two are among five arrested Ampatuans who have not yet been arraigned for the charges—the others being Anwar Sr., his sons Anwar Sajid “Ulo” and Anwar “Ipi” Jr.
In a four-page omnibus order dated June 6, the court denied the two accused’s separate pleadings, saying the arguments raised in their petition were not new.
Reyes pointed out that the court had already ruled on the existence of probable cause to hold the accused, including Akmad and Sajid Islam, liable for the 58 counts of murder charges.
“There is no cogent reason to discuss the same considering that (the court) has already discussed its reasons in denying the previous motions,” she said.
In his May 2011 omnibus motion, Sajid Islam claimed there was no legal or factual basis to charge him since there was an implied admission that he was not at the crime scene during the incident.
The accused said the only basis for the filing of charges was the allegedly perjured affidavit of prosecution witness Kenny Dalandag.
For his part, Akmad claimed in a Sept. 2011 motion that there was no evidence showing his alleged participation, saying Dalandag never mentioned his name in his affidavit.
The accused also added that the affidavit of another alleged witness, Abdul Talusan, should not be given weight since it only surfaced when the prosecution appealed a Department of Justice resolution excluding him from the case.
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