DOJ asked to surrender Ampatuan under witness protection program
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has been asked to surrender former Datu Salibo Town Mayor Akmad Ampatuan, one of the principal witnesses against the 50 new suspects in the Maguindanao massacre, to answer for the murder of a jail warden 17 years ago.
In a letter to the DOJ, Tangli Mamalangkay, the 80-year old mother of victim Al-Kail Tangki Mamalangkay, and the victim’s siblings urged Justice Secretary Leila De Lima to help them in serving the arrest warrant against Ampatuan.
Ampatuan, one of the principal accused in the Maguindanao massacre case has been placed under the government’s Witness Protection Program (WPP) after giving vital information that led to the filing of new complaints against 50 new suspects including 14 Ampatuans, four of whom are incumbent mayors in Mindanao.
“Nung maul si Kagi Akmad Ampatuan sa Makati City at naaman gamin na ikaw ay nagsabi na si Akmad Ampatuan ay nasa Witness Protection Program (WPP), kami ay nakaramdam ng koala ng pag-asa. Di po ba at ang DOJ ay mas dapat na unchain ang prosecution ng mga kaso lalong lalo na ang isang murder case na matagal nang nakabinbin,” she asked in her letter.
In using Ampatuan as government witness, she asked de Lima what will happen to the murder case on the death of her son.
“How long do we have to wait to get justice,” the family asked.
Akmad was charged with murder before the Cotabato RTC Branch 13 on January 27, 1999 and the case has since been archived due to the failure of police authorities to serve the arrest warrant issued against Akmad.
A certification issued by branch clerk of court Abdul Buayan last February 2015 states that the warrant of arrest against Akmad remains enforceable.
“This is to certify that per record of the case, the warrant of arrest issued in this case dated September 24, 1999 against the accused is still valid and in existence as of today,” the court said.
In the letter, Tangli recounted that her son was able to execute a dying declaration pointing to Akmad as his assailant.
She added that evidence against Akmad are overwhelming considering that her son’s stolen motorcycle was even found by authorities at his residence.
The Mamalangkays added that they have prodded authorities numerous times to serve the arrest warrant but no one dared to implement it for fear of reprisal from Akmad who is known to be very influential in the province.
“Malakas at maimpluwensya si Akmad Ampatuan at kami na pamilya ng biktima ay walang magawa kung hindi hintayin ang pagkakataon na maaaring makamit namin ang hustisyang matagal ng ipinagkait sa amin,” the Mamalangkay’s told de lima.
The Mamalangkays said they are still hoping that De Lima would change her mind and instead help them get the justice they deserve.