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MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE TRIAL

Police blotter tells story of blocked witness

Even as the accused Ampatuan family members have gone to the Supreme Court to block the testimony of key government witness Kenny Dalandag, prosecutors on Wednesday succeeded in putting into the court record Dalagdag’s initial report to the police about the Maguindanao massacre.

Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes allowed policeman Cixon Kasan, former officer in charge of the Buluan, Maguindanao, police station, to read the entry he wrote in the police blotter when Dalandag went to the station at around 2 a.m. of Nov. 24, 2009, only hours after the massacre which left at least 57 people dead.

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“(Kasan) was not supposed to testify now but we moved his testimony forward because the Ampatuans are stopping [Dalandag] from testifying,” said a prosecution team member who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on the matter.

No time to concoct tale

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“As you can see, the entry was made at 2 a.m. after the massacre. So there was no time to concoct a tale or false story,” he added.

Prosecutors claim that Dalandag, alleged to be an armourer in former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr.’s private Army, was present from the time the Ampatuans allegedly planned the massacre, to when the victims’ convoy was stopped, and during the massacre itself on the hill where the victims were all shot dead.

Defense lawyers have pending petitions both before the Supreme Court and Reyes’ court to prevent Dalandag from testifying.

On Wednesday, they asked Reyes to take custody of the entire police blotter that Kasan presented in court so that they could examine it.

Blotter entry

Reyes allowed Kasan to read the blotter entry, explaining that it was only meant for the police officer to recall what Dalandag had told him and not to testify to the veracity of the information Dalandag had given.

Kasan said Dalandag suddenly appeared at the Buluan police station after midnight on Nov. 24, 2009. Dalandag had told him that he decided to go to Buluan because he did not trust the police in Ampatuan or Shariff Aguak, where the police headquarters was located.

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According to Dalandag, he was with a group from Andal Sr.’s private Army that was summoned to a briefing by the latter on Nov. 22, 2009, the day before the massacre.

He said he and the others were brought at dawn the next day to the checkpoint in Barangay Matagabong, where they joined around 100 “armed men” and where the Mangudadatu convoy was later flagged down.

“Unsay Ampatuan Jr. and his companions, including myself, then brought all the victims in the area where [they were] brutally killed,” the blotter entry read.

Kasan said that he and 11 other policemen had offered to escort the Mangudadatu convoy when they saw it leaving Buluan hours earlier.

However, Kasan said ARMM Assemblyman Khaddafy Mangudadatu, who had initially asked for a police escort, told him that it would be better if they did not escort the convoy.

“He said it would be better if they see no guns (in the convoy),” Kasan said.

The Mangudadatu convoy, which was on its way to file now Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu’s candidacy papers, was made up mainly of women and journalists because the Mangudadatus thought they would likely not be harmed.

‘Mere rehash’

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeals has thrown out for lack of merit the Ampatuans’ petition questioning the six-month extension of the freeze order it issued on the family’s properties and bank accounts which they allegedly used to stash more than P1 billion in ill-gotten wealth. With Marlon Ramos

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TAGS: Ampatuan family, key government witness Kenny Dalandag, Maguindanao massacre, Supreme Court
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