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Defense quizzes CHR prober report on Maguindanao massacre

MANILA, Philippines - Defense lawyers in  2009 Maguindanao massacre case on Wednesday sought to demolish the credibility of an investigator of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) who was presented as a witness by the prosecution for the massacre's 58th victim, Midland Review photojournalist Reynaldo Momay.

During the re-cross examination of CHR investigator Ronie Rosero, at the hearing done at the secured courtroom of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 inside the Quezon City Jail annex at Camp Bagong Diwa, defense lawyers alleged that his report on the case of Momay was riddled with omissions and was allegedly biased in favor of the side of now Maguindanao Governor Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu.

Defense lawyers in particular zeroed in on the alleged omissions made by Rosero in his addendum to his after mission report which he submitted to then CHR chairman Leila de Lima.

In particular, defense lawyers grilled Rosero on why he did not mention in his addendum that the backhoe used in unearthing the bodies of the massacre victims was owned by the Mangudadatus, that video footages following the massacre were furnished to the CHR by the Mangudadatus and why details on how Momay's alleged "partial left upper denture" was recovered at the massacre site in Sitio Masalay, Ampatuan town were left out in the addendum to the after mission report.

Prosecution lawyers have earlier presented to court the recovered partial left upper denture as proof of Momay's presence in the massacre site. Aside from the denture, investigators have not found Momay's remains or any other evidence to place Momay at the massacre site.

The recovered partial upper left denture was earlier identified as Momay's by his daughter, Ma. Reynafe Momay-Castillo.

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Rosero however countered that the supposed omissions in his addendum report have been included in his supplemental report.

Rosero also denied allegations made by defense lawyers that he had witheld information from the CHR which he then allegedly passed on to prosecution lawyers.

Meanwhile, Maguindanao Governor Mangudadatu is expected to take the witness stand Thursday as the hearing of the massacre case continues at the sala of Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.

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