Court OKs waiver of appearance of Andal Sr., 22 cops in massacre trial

- Aie Balagtas See () - June 22, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines -  The court yesterday allowed Andal Ampatuan Sr. and 22 police officers accused in the Maguindanao massacre to skip the twice-a-week hearings except when the need arises for them to be present.

Quezon City Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes issued the separate orders on June 6 for the police officers and June 15 for Ampatuan.

Solis though stressed the accused will not be excused when “ordered by the court for purposes of identification, promulgation of judgment, and other circumstances that will require their presence.”

The lawyers of Andal Sr. immediately filed a waiver of appearance after entering his plea on June 1. That was the first and last time the Ampatuan patriarch was seen in court since he was flown to Manila from Davao City in April last year.

The court order had excused the accused police officers, SPO2 George Labayan, SPOs1 Elizer Rendaje and Alimola Guinaton, PO3 Ricky Balanueco, PO2 Rexson Guiama, POs1 Amir Solaiman, Ebara Bebot, Tamano Hadi, Pendatun Dima, Michael Macarongon, Mahamad Balading and Bensidik Alfonso.

The 10 others are: SPO1 Eduardo Ong, POs1 Herich Amaba, Esprielito Lejarso, Narkouk Mascud, Arnulfo Soriano, and Pia Kamidon, POs2 Hernanie Decipulo, Saudi Pasutan, and POs3 Felix Enate and Rasid Anton.

Copies of the order were furnished to the prosecutors and the defense lawyers last June 16.

A total of 196 people were charged in connection with the multiple murders, including 13 Ampatuan family members led by patriarch Andal Sr. and his sons former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor Zaldy and Datu Unsay mayor Andal Jr., who allegedly led the brutal murders.

The victims were systematically murdered and buried in shallow pits or dumped in grasslands near a remote highway in Ampatuan town on Nov. 23, 2009.

Those killed in the worst political murders in the country’s history included pregnant women and about 30 journalists.

AMIR SOLAIMAN AMPATUAN ANDAL AMPATUAN SR. ANDAL JR. ANDAL SR. ARNULFO SORIANO AUTONOMOUS REGION DAVAO CITY EBARA BEBOT EDUARDO ONG ELIZER RENDAJE AND ALIMOLA GUINATON
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with