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Timeline: Maguindanao Massacre

12:23 AM November 23, 2013

2009

Nov. 23—Fifty-seven people, including 32 media workers, are shot dead and buried on a hilltop in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao province allegedly by followers of the powerful Ampatuan clan.

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Nov. 26—Andal Ampatuan Jr. is arrested.

Nov. 27—State prosecutors recommend the filing of murder charges against Ampatuan.

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Dec. 1—Two police officers identify the man who headed the armed group as Ampatuan. Prosecutors file 25 counts of murder against him.

Dec. 2—Prosecutors indict then Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. and seven members of his clan.

Dec. 4—Maguindanao is placed under martial law.

Dec. 6—The Ampatuan patriarch, his four sons and 57 others are arrested.

Dec. 8—The Supreme Court grants request of the Department of Justice (DOJ) that the murder cases be transferred from Cotabato City to Quezon City.

Dec. 9—The DOJ files rebellion charges against seven members of the Ampatuan family.

Dec. 11—Multiple murder charges are filed against 100 members of the Civilian Volunteer Organization loyal to the Ampatuan clan.

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Dec. 15—Quezon City Judge Luisito Cortez refuses to try the Ampatuan case, declaring his family came first.

Dec. 16—Chief Justice Reynato Puno orders a new raffle of the case.

Dec. 17—The case is raffled off to the court of Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.

2010

Jan. 5—Ampatuan Jr. is arraigned, pleads not guilty.

Jan. 12—The Supreme Court grants the DOJ’s motion to transfer the rebellion case against the Ampatuans to Quezon City.

Feb. 3—15 more murder charges have been filed against Ampatuan Jr.; he pleads not guilty.

March 29—Citing lack of evidence, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court dismisses rebellion charges against Ampatuan Sr. and six other members of his clan.

Aug. 31—The Quezon City RTC opens the Maguindanao massacre trial, with nearly 200 accused and more than 500 witnesses.

Sept. 8—Lakmudin Saliao, a house help of the Ampatuans, testifies that the Ampatuan clan planned the massacre over dinner on Nov. 17, 2009.

Sept. 15—Saliao claims that Ampatuan Sr. ordered at least P30 million for bribes, including P10 million for then Press Secretary Jesus Dureza in exchange for the release of the clan’s patriarch from jail.

Nov. 23— The nation marks the first anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre. President Aquino promises that giving justice to the victims is on top of the government’s list.

 

2011

Jan. 31—The Court of Appeals junks Zaldy Ampatuan’s plea to be excluded from the charge sheet.

May 3—Reyes denies the request of Ampatuan Sr. for hospitalization, but orders a doctor to check him up.

June 1—Ampatuan Sr. is arraigned; he pleads not guilty to charges of masterminding the mass murder.

July 7—The lawyers of Zaldy Ampatuan say he is no longer planning to turn state witness to pin down his father and brother.

July 11—In an interview aired on TV, Zaldy Ampatuan says he is willing to testify and speak the truth, even if his testimony implicates his father and brother.

July 21—The Court of Appeals denies Ampatuan Sr.’s bid to be excluded from the list of respondents in the case.

Nov. 23—On the second anniversary of the killings, relatives of the victims attend the trial; call on the court to speed up the case.

2012

July 6—Reyes says she hopes to hand down a decision before the end of President Aquino’s term.

Sept. 26—The Inquirer reports that the DOJ has recognized Reynaldo Momay, a photojournalist from General Santos City, as the 58th victim of the massacre.

Oct. 23—The Supreme Court reverses its June 14, 2011, ruling; allows the live television coverage of the trial.

Nov. 23—News and human rights organizations mark the third anniversary of the massacre with a big protest rally in Mendiola; criticize the government for the slow progress of the trial.

Nov. 27—Reyes orders that backhoe operator Bong Andal, the alleged gravedigger in the massacre, be transferred from Cotabato City to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

Dec. 13— A day after pleading not guilty, Zaldy Ampatuan asks the court to allow him to post bail.

2013

Feb. 13—The court allows accused Sukarno Badal, former vice mayor of Sultan sa Barongis town in Maguindanao, to be a state witness.

March 5—The Inquirer reports that alleged backhoe operator Andal has been dropped as prosecution witness and will instead be charged as one of the accused.

April 15—Accused Manny Upam Ampatuan and Maot Bangkulat pleads not guilty.

May—Six members of Ampatuan clan win elections in Maguindanao.

President Aquino orders state prosecutors to oppose any attempt to delay the trial to ensure conviction before he steps down from office in 2016.

Defense lawyers ask the court to throw out the prosecution’s objection to the petition for bail of Ampatuan senior.

May 27— Seventy-eight accused plead not guilty to the 58th murder charge.

June 6— The court junks the petitions of Akmad and Sajid Islam Ampatuan challenging their indictment, clearing the way for their arraignment.

June 25—The Inquirer reports that relatives of 14 victims nearly dropped the murder charges against members of the Ampatuan clan and almost agreed to an out-of-court settlement in exchange for P50 million.

July 8—The court allows accused Abedin Alamada, former Datu Unsay councilor, to seek medical treatment for pain caused by complications from a surgery.

Oct. 8—The Court of Appeals rejects the bid of Ampatuan Sr. and his son Ampatuan Sr. to exclude the testimony of Sangki, who testified in 2010. Inquirer Research

Sources: Inquirer Archives

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TAGS: Ampatuan, Ampatuan clans, Andal Ampatuan Jr., Andal Ampatuan Sr., Department of Justice, Maguindanao massacre, Martial law, Media killings, Reynato Puno, Supreme Court
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