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Metro

Fiscals to present more GMA allies vs Zaldy

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The prosecutors in the Maguindanao massacre trial have included more allies of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the list of witnesses that will be presented against former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor Zaldy Ampatuan.

During yesterday’s hearing at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221, the prosecution panel included former Local Water Utilities Administration head Prospero Pichay, former political adviser Gabby Claudio, former executive secretary Eduardo Ermita, and former national security adviser Norberto Gonzales in its list of witnesses against the former governor.

Prosecutor Aristotle Reyes said the former government officials will testify on the alleged meetings that were held to warn former Buluan vice mayor and now Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu from running against Ampatuan clan patriarch Andal Sr., who held the post, in the 2010 elections.

The prosecution earlier included former defense secretary Gilberto Teodoro in its list of witnesses against Zaldy, saying he was the one who allegedly arranged the meetings.

Members of the Ampatuan clan and their alleged private army were accused of killing 58 people, including at least 32 media practitioners, on Nov. 23, 2009 in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao.

The media personnel were supposed to cover the filing of Mangudadatu’s certificate of candidacy. Among the dead were Mangudadatu’s wife, sisters, lawyers, and aides.

The prosecution is set to recall Mangudadatu on the witness stand to testify during the hearing of Zaldy’s bail petition on Jan. 23. Last month, Zaldy pleaded not guilty on the multiple murder charges filed against him.

Also in the list that will be presented by the prosecution during the bail hearings are former Maguindanao election supervisor Lintang Bedol and broadcast journalists Anthony Taberna and Joseph Morong.

Taberna and Morong will testify on Zaldy’s previous interviews that covered his supposed participation in the incident, said Reyes.

On the other hand, the defense panel said they would also present Zaldy’s driver and security escorts, as well as representatives from different telecommunications companies, as witnesses of the former ARMM governor.

They previously included Arroyo, Pichay and Claudio in their list of witnesses.

 

AMPATUAN

ANDAL SR.

ANTHONY TABERNA AND JOSEPH MORONG

AUTONOMOUS REGION

EDUARDO ERMITA

ESMAEL MANGUDADATU

FORMER

GABBY CLAUDIO

MAGUINDANAO

MANGUDADATU

ZALDY

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