QC court denies bid of Ampatuan patriarch to post bail
Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 has denied the bid of Ampatuan patriarch Andal Ampatuan Sr. to post bail.
Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes, in her order made public on Wednesday, said, “Wherefore, in view of foregoing and finding that evidence of guilt of accused is strong, the bail petitions filed by Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr. are hereby denied. So ordered.”
Ampatuan Sr. is one of the principal accused in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre where 58 people were killed, including 32 journalists.
Ampatuan Sr. initially filed a bail petition for 57 counts of murder. Then he filed another petition after the 58th murder count was added.
“[The court] merely determined that because of the evidence [presented] by the prosecution … he cannot be justly entitled to temporary liberty,” said Reyes.
But the court clarified that “the ruling of the court is not in judgment of guilt or innocence of the accused which requires proof beyond reasonable doubt which is addressed during a full blown trial.”
The court has yet to hold a full blown trial. The proceedings before the court is for bail petitions. But the evidence presented during the bail proceeding will be incorporated as among the evidence during the full blown trial.
Reyes is trying multiple murder charges against the Ampatuans and more than 190 other persons accused of carrying out the Nov. 23, 2009, slaughter of 58 persons, including 32 journalists and media workers.
Fifty-seven counts of murder were initially filed against the accused but the court eventually accepted the 58th count after the authorities proved Midland Review photojournalist Reynaldo “Bebot” Monay was among those slain although his body was never recovered. RC
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