Ampatuan massacre verdict
LATEST UPDATE: January 22, 2020 - 12:24pm
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January 22, 2020

A policeman implicated in the 2009 massacre of 58 people in Ampatuan, Maguindanao surrendered on Tuesday.

PO1 Ysmael Baraguir—under the new Philippine National Police rank system, the equivalent rank is patrolman—yielded to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Bangsamoro Region after 10 years in hiding.

He surrendered through the intercession of local officials and of Police Col. James Gulmatico, chief of the CIDG for the Bangsamoro region.

CIDG agents fetched Baraguir from an interior area in Pagalungan town in Maguindanao on Tuesday night.

He is now in the custody of the CIDG. —The STAR/John Unson

January 3, 2020

Datu Zaldy Ampatuan, former regional governor, appeals conviction by filing notice of appeal before Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221,  which found him guilty of 57 counts of murder in December last year.

Zaldy will directly appeal the verdict to the Court of Appeals. — via Janvic Mateo, The STAR

January 2, 2020

Former Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao Mayor Anwar Ampatuan Sr. and his sons Anwar Jr. and Anwar Sajid appeal guilty verdict in Ampatuan Massacre case, The STAR's Janvic Mateo reports.

December 19, 2019

Although the guilty verdict on the massacre is welcome, members of the National Union of Journalists in the Philipines-Baguio and Benguet say all involved in the Nov.23, 2009 killings should be “brought to the bar of justice”.

"Justice will only be fully served when all of those involved and responsible are brought to the bar of justice," they say.

"But then this is just partial justice because many of the accused were acquitted while 80 more accused remain at large," NUJP-Baguio Benguet says, noting that “still impunity continues to reign that emboldens perpetrators and masterminds of gruesome attacks against journalists and the people knowing that they can escape unscathed.” — The STAR / Artemio Dumlao

 

December 19, 2019

The Supreme Court releases the dispositive portion of the Maguindanao massacre trial's verdict.

December 19, 2019

Of the 101 accused, the following were found guilty of acting as accessories. They are sentenced to imprisonment of six years of prision correcional as minimum up to 10 years and eight months of prision mayor as maximum.

  1. Michael Joy Macaraeg (PInsp)
  2. Felix Enate (PO3)
  3. Abibudin Abdulgani (PO3)
  4. Rasid Anton (PO3)
  5. Hamad Nana (PO2)
  6. Saudi Pasutan (PO2)
  7. Saudiar Ulah (PO2)
  8. Esprielito Lejarso (PO1)
  9. Narkouk Mascud (PO1)
  10. Pia Kamidon (PO1)
  11. Esmael Guialal (PO1)
  12. Arnulfo Soriano (PO1)
  13. Herich Amaba (PO1)
  14. Abdulgapor Abad (PSupt)
  15. Bong Andal
December 19, 2019

Of the 101 accused, the following were found guilty of acting as accessories. They are sentenced to imprisonment of six years of prision correcional as minimum up to 10 years and eight months of prision mayor as maximum.

  1. Michael Joy Macaraeg (PInsp)
  2. Felix Enate (PO3)
  3. Abibudin Abdulgani (PO3)
  4. Rasid Anton (PO3)
  5. Hamad Nana (PO2)
  6. Saudi Pasutan (PO2)
  7. Saudiar Ulah (PO2)
  8. Esprielito Lejarso (PO1)
  9. Narkouk Mascud (PO1)
  10. Pia Kamidon (PO1)
  11. Esmael Guialal (PO1)
  12. Arnulfo Soriano (PO1)
  13. Herich Amaba (PO1)
  14. Abdulgapor Abad (PSupt)
  15. Bong Andal
December 19, 2019

The following are the principal accused who were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of committing 57 counts of murder. They are sentenced to reclusion perpetua without parole. Police said 58 people were killed in the 2009 massacre but the body of the 58th victim was never found.

  1. Datu Andal Unsay Ampatuan Jr.
  2. Datu Anwar Sajid Ulo Ampatuan
  3. Datu Anwar Ipi Ampatuan Jr.
  4. Saudi Mokamad (PINsp)
  5. Jonathan Engid (PO1)
  6. Abedin Alamada alias Kumander Bedi
  7. Talembo "Tammy" Masukat
  8. Theng Sali alias Abdullah Hamad Abdulkahar
  9. Manny Ampatuan
  10. Nasser Esmael alias Nasrudin Esmael
  11. Datu Zaldy Ampatuan
  12. Sukarno Dicay (PCI)
  13. Abusama Mundas Maguid (PSupt)
  14. Bahnarin Kamaong (PSupt)
  15. Datu Anwar Ampatuan Sr.
  16. Tato Tampogao
  17. Mohades Ampatuan
  18. Mohamad Datumanong
  19. Misuari Ampatuan
  20. Taya Bangkulat
  21. Salik Bangkulat
  22. Thong Guiamano
  23. Sonny Pindi
  24. Armando Ambalgan
  25. Kudza Masukat Uguia
  26. Edres Kasan
  27. Zacaria Akil
  28. Samaon Andatuan
December 19, 2019

International rights monitor Human Rights Watch says the "momentous" guilty verdict handed down by the judge on the Maguindanao massacre case should help provide long-awaited justice to the victims' families and build toward greater accountability for rights abuses in the country.

"Advocates should use this verdict to spur further political and judicial reforms to ultimately end the impunity that has plagued the country for far too long," Human Rights Watch Deputy Asia Director Phil Robertson says in a statement.

"More broadly, this verdict should prompt the country’s political leaders to finally act to end state support for 'private armies' and militias that promotes the political warlordism that gave rise to the Ampatuans."

December 19, 2019

The court acquitted two other members of the powerful Ampatuan clan: Datu Akmad "Tato" Ampatuan Sr. and Datu Sajid Islam Ampatuan.

December 19, 2019

More than a decade since 58 people were killed in the worst case of election-related violence in Philippine history, Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 found Datu Andal Ampatuan Jr. and his brother Zaldy Ampatuan guilty. Story here.

December 19, 2019

Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes rules that the dispositive portion will be read.

But other lawyers continue to ask that salient points be read given that the verdict for the decade-long Maguindanao massacre trial has been long-awaited.

December 19, 2019

Lawyers of the victims' families asks the court to read only the dispositive portion of the decision as the consolidated partial decision consists of 761 pages. 

Other lawyers are asking that only the salient points be read.

December 19, 2019

Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 who will be handing down the decision for the decade-long Maguindanao massacre case is on her way to the courtroom.

The promulgation was supposed to start at 9 a.m.

December 19, 2019

A live feed inside the press room shows the Ampatuan brothers Andal Jr. and Zaldy—primary accused in the case—at the courtroom. 

Andal Jr. is seated second from left. Zaldy, meanwhile, is the one with arm cast. He had stroke in October and was placed in hospital arrest until he was ordered by a Quezon City court to return to Camp Bagong Diwa.

Philstar.com/Gaea Katreena Cabico

December 19, 2019

An emotional Jean Malabanan, daughter of Gina Dela Cruz, one of the 32 media workers killed in the massacre, says they have long awaited for this day to come before entering the Quezon City Jail Annex.

"Ito na yung pinakahihintay namin."

 

 

December 19, 2019

Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu arrives at the Quezon City Jail Annex. Mangudadatu lost his wife, sisters and relatives in the gruesome massacre.

Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas

"Dapat lang na makita natin maihayag alam nyo kasi hindi lang ito yung dapat panagutan nila yung mga nauna pang massacre dapat sagutin nila lahat," says Mangudadatu.

"Itong mga mga ebidensya na ito na ipinresinta itong mga salaysay na ito ng mga witnesses ano talagang positibo tayo na talagang makuha natin. Lalong malaking parte rin itong mga media na tumutok sa 10 taon na proseso sa paglilitis nitong mga akusado."

December 19, 2019

Noemi Parcon, wife of slain freelance journalist Joel Parcon, says it will be a "slap on the face of the country's justice system if we do not win in this case."

"We are really expecting ay yung mga principal accused ay convicted because who died in the incident will only have peace in heaven if justice is served."

Members of the powerful Ampatuan family are among the primary accused in the murder case.

December 19, 2019

The relatives of Ampatuan massacre victims arrived at Camp Bagong Diwa minutes before the camp was placed on lockdown at 6 a.m. A decade ago, 58 individuals—32 of them media workers—were killed in broad daylight and dumped into roadside pits.

The promulgation of the long-awaited verdict starts at 9 a.m.

 

 

December 19, 2019

Tight security is being implemented at Camp Bagong Diwa where the verdict on the 2009 Ampatuan massacre will be announced this morning. Churchgoers attending Simbang Gabi at St. Joseph Chapel inside the camp are asked to present IDs.

 

 

December 18, 2019

Zaldy Ampatuan, among the primary accused in the Ampatuan massacre, has been transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig a day after the court ordered him returned there from hospital arrest, state-run PTV reports.

Zaldy had been undergoing rehabilitation after suffering a stroke earlier this year. The court said the rehabilitation sessions could be done on an out-patient basis and that there is no need for him to stay in the hospital.

December 18, 2019

Although journalists' groups are hopeful for a conviction in the decade-old Ampatuan massacre case, the fact that the case has taken so long to end "proves that impunity thrives for the powerful, while for the victims of crimes such as the Ampatuan massacre, a decade can pass without attaining justice," AlterMidya - People's Alternative Media Network says in a pooled editorial.

 "A decade has indeed passed but the conditions that led to the Ampatuan massacre remain: political dynasties and patronage are still alive, paramilitary groups have not been dismantled, and the Ampatuans’ collusion with the administration — Arroyo then and Duterte now — still persists," AlterMidya also says.

The network says, however, that "despite the stark lesson on how elusive justice is from the Ampatuan massacre case, journalists, activists, and advocates must not only soldier on, but also up the ante in the fight to shatter the culture of impunity that has enveloped the nation."

December 18, 2019

Human Rights Watch says the Philippine authorities’ failure to arrest 80 suspects in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre case puts victims’ families at grave risk.

Among the suspects not arrested are 14 members of the powerful and influential Ampatuan family, which allegedly planned and carried out the massacre on Nov. 23, 2009 in the town of Ampatuan, Maguindanao, HRW says in a statement.

It adds that at least 50 of the 80 suspects at large are police officers and soldiers, some of whom had provided close security detail for Andal Ampatuan Jr., the main suspect.

"The families of Maguindanao victims and witnesses will be at risk so long as suspects remain free," says Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

"Regardless of the verdicts in the case, Philippine authorities need to apprehend the several dozen suspects still at large."

At least three witnesses in the case have been killed over the years. These were Suwaib Upham in 2010, Alijol Ampatuan in 2012 and Denex Sacal in 2014. 

A special court in Quezon City is expected to hand down verdicts for the 107 defendants in custody on Thursday, Decembr 19.

December 17, 2019

Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 has ordered the jail warden of the Quezon City Jail Annex in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig "immediately transport" former ARMM Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan from Makati Medical Center back to detention.

Prosecutors had asked the court to order Zaldy, among the primary accused in the 2009 Ampatuan massacre, to have him returned to Camp Bagng Diwa "to preclude any possibility for accused to...escape."

The court said "there is no longer any need for [Ampatuan] to remain in the hospital as the procedure during rehabilitation can be done to him as an out-patient."

The promulgation of the verdict in the case is scheduled on Thursday, December 19.

November 25, 2019

Prosecutors are asking a Quezon City court to order ex-ARMM Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan returned to Bicutan saying he may use being in the hospital to escape since the verdict on the Ampatuan massacre case is expected soon.

The verdict is expected by December 20.

 

November 23, 2019

Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan says the "sense and reality of impunity of a political dynasty caused the Maguindanao massacre a decade ago." 

“Ten years ago today, a warlord clan in Mindanao wanted to seal its power and control over the people in its territory in the 2010 elections. Together with his band of ruffians, a particularly desperate member tried to block any challenge to his clan’s power and control, and so abducted, shot at close range, and buried media practitioners and some civilians who mistakenly followed the convoy for the filing of candidacy of a challenger,” says Pangilinan.

The Maguindanao massacre is the world’s deadliest attack on journalists, 32 of the 58 victims in the massacre were members of the press. 

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