Bail won’t be revoked for 16 cops implicated in Maguindanao massacre
Bail won’t be revoked for 16 police officers involved in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre that killed 58 people, 32 of them journalists.
The Court of Appeals dismissed the motion filed by government prosecutors that sought the reversal of the decision of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 to grant bail for the officers.
In a three-page decision penned by Associate Justice Jhosep Lopez, the CA’s former Tenth Division held that government prosecutors failed to raise new grounds and arguments that would warrant the reversal of its decision issued on July 28, 2017.
The following 16 police officers were members of the 1508th Provincial Mobile Group (PMG):
- Insp. Michael Joy Macaraeg
- SPO1 Eduardo Hong
- SPO1 Oscar Donato
- PO3 Abibudin Abdulgani
- PO3 Rasid Anton
- PO3 Felix Enate
- PO2 Saudi Pasuta
- PO2 Hamad Nana
- PO2 Saudiar Ulah
- PO1 Esprielito Lejarso
- PO1 Narkouk Mascud
- PO1 Heirich Amaba
- PO1 Arnulfo Soriano
- PO1 Pia Kamidon
- PO1 Esmael Guilal
- PO1 Abdullah Baguadatu
In granting them bail, the lower court noted that none of the testimonies or exhibits presented by the prosecution had particularly linked and identified the police officers to the relevant times and places surrounding the killing of the victims.
“After a careful calibration of the parties’ perspective arguments, the Court is convinced that no new and legitimate ground was raised to reverse or set aside the Court’s earlier finding,” the appeals court said.“Be that as it may, the Court has once given petitioner’s submissions a thorough and objective review but even on second hard look no cogent reason surfaces to warrant the reconsideration sought.”
“As it is, the arguments advanced in support of the motion are not compelling or persuasive enough to impel the Court to justify petitioner’s desired course of action or to warrant a possible reversal or setting aside of the Court’s decision,” it added.
Concurring with the ruling were Associate Justices Ramon Bato Jr. and Samuel Gaerlan. /atm
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