Anwar Ampatuan Sr., two sons appeal guilty verdict in massacre case
In a packed courtroom at the Metro Manila District Jail Annex-2 at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, muted cheers could be heard as Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes read the verdict on Dec. 19, 2019, declaring 28 of the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of 57 counts of murder.
Supreme Court Public Information Office/released

Anwar Ampatuan Sr., two sons appeal guilty verdict in massacre case

(Philstar.com) - January 2, 2020 - 6:12pm

MANILA, Philippines — Murder convicts Anwar Ampatuan Sr. and sons Anwar Jr. and Anwar Sajid asked the court to reverse its ruling as it found them guilty over the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.

The STAR reported that the Anwar Sr., former Shariff Aguak mayor, and his two sons filed their motion for reconsideration against the Dec. 19, 2019 ruling of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch No. 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.

Reyes found the three and 25 others guilty of murder and were sentenced to serve a maximum of 40 years in prison.

READ: Maguindanao massacre verdict: Zaldy Ampatuan, Andal Jr. found guilty of murder

Anwar Sr. is the brother of Andal Ampatuan Jr. former mayor of Datu Unsay, Maguindanao and Zaldy Ampatuan, former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Andal Jr. and Zaldy are considered the primary suspects—later, convicts—in the gruesome crime that claimed 58 lives, 32 of which were of media workers.

Motion for reconsideration

But the three Ampatuans in their respective pleadings, said that Reyes relied heavily on the testimony of suspect-turned-state witness Sukarno Badal, whose credibility they questioned before the court.

“It is arduous to believe that the alleged eyewitness could have remembered everything every participant said in those meetings,” Anwar Sr.’s plea read.

The joint motion of Anwar Jr. and Anwar Sajid meanwhile read: “His testimony should not be entitled to full faith and credit.”

They added: “It is a settled axiom that [if] witnesses testify falsely as to any material fact... their testimony should be discarded as a whole.”

Badal is a former vice mayor of Sultan sa Barongis town in Maguindanao. He testified to seeing Ampatuan shooting some of the victims of the massacre.

He claimed to have been with Ampatuan and the other suspects when they ordered the convoy carrying the wife and sisters of Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu (Maguindano) and media workers.

Ruling

Reyes, in her historic ruling, said that the prosecution proved the convicts’ guilt beyond reasonable doubt as they showed that the killing—considered the worst  case of election-related violence in Philippine history—was planned days before the massacre.

“The timeline proves beyond reasonable doubt that there were gatherings prior to Nov. 23, 2009. The purpose had been laid out in these meetings: to not just prevent, but kill all the persons transporting the candidacy papers of Datu Toto to Shariff Aguak,” read the decision.

“The method had also been ascertained: numerous men, firearms, checkpoints, Sanggukos and a backhoe would be used to accomplish the murder objective,” the decision further read.

Reyes identified Anwar Sajid and Anwar Jr. as first class convicts or those who had prior knowledge of the murder plot and actually fired at the victims.

Anwar Sr. and Zaldy fell under the second class of suspects or those who had prior knowledge of the crime but were not at the crime scene. Their actions however still “had for their purpose the attainment of their common objective of committing the unlawful act.” — Kristine Joy Patag with reports from The STAR/Janvic Mateo

AMPATUAN MASSACRE ANWAR AMPATUAN SR. MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE
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