NUJP: Ampatuan’s release due to incompetence of gov’t panel
MANILA, Philippines — The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) on Monday lambasted the “incompetence” of the prosecution panel in presenting its case which led to the release of Sajid Ampatuan, one of the principal suspects in the bloody Maguindanao massacre, after posting an P11.6 million bail.
BACKSTORY: Ampatuan out on bail
The journalist group said that allowing Ampatuan to post bail could be a part of a “nefarious deal.”
“The grant of bail to Sajid, who was acting governor at the time of the massacre and would certainly have been in on the murderous plot, can only be attributed to the prosecution’s faulty presentation of its case. At best, because of incompetence, at worst as part of some nefarious deal,” it said.
Registering its “terrible” disappointment, NUJP said that it fears the course of justice for the 58 people killed in the massacre, 32 of which are media practitioners.
“We fear for the course of the search for justice for the 58 victims, 32 of them media workers, of the worst incident of electoral violence in recent Philippine history and the single deadliest attack on the press ever recorded,” it added.
NUJP urged the Department of Justice to swiftly act on the case.
The Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 has ordered the release of Ampatuan, who posted P200,000 for each of the 58 counts of murder.
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