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Testimony of massacre victim’s widow stricken off record

/ 08:00 PM February 28, 2014

The names of the victims of the Nov. 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre are written on markers at the carnage site in Barangay Salman, Ampatuan town in Maguindanao. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—A Quezon City court has stricken the testimony of the widow of one of the journalists killed in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre off the trial records after the prosecution failed to present her for cross-examination by the defense.

Myrna Reblando, widow of Manila Bulletin reporter Alejandro Reblando Sr., testified on the civil aspects of the case in April 2011 but left to seek asylum in Hong Kong and has not returned for cross-examination by defense lawyers.

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Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Regional Trial Court Branch 221 had given the prosecution until Feb. 27 to present Myrna Reblando along with Reynafe Momay-Castillo, daughter of another journalist killed in the massacre. Castillo now lives in the United States.

The prosecution asked that the two women be cross-examined by defense lawyers via video-conferencing as they could not afford the plane fare to Manila, but the judge turned the request down, it would be an added burden on the court to install Internet connections, software and similar equipment for the video conferencing.

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The prosecution presented instead Reblando’s son Alejandro Jr., who testified on the authenticity of his 15-page judicial affidavit.

The younger Reblando said his family suffered P244,000 in actual damages; P1.5 million in unearned income; P200 million in moral damages; and P5 million in exemplary damages.

The prosecution also presented Femy Momay, wife of Momay and Reynafe’s mother, as a  witness on the civil aspect of the case.

Also presented for cross examination was Cielo Joy Brizuela, the youngest daughter of slain lawyer Connie Jayme-Brizuela.

While Judge Reyes ordered Myrna Reblando’s earlier testimony stricken off the record, her ruling on Thursday was silent with respect to the testimony of Momay’s daughter.

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TAGS: court case, Maguindanao massacre, Metro, Myrna reblando, News, Testimony
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