De Lima mulls replacing fiscal in massacre trial

(The Philippine Star) - October 25, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said yesterday she is considering granting the request of Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu to replace Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III as supervising official of the prosecution panel in the Maguindanao massacre case.

“I am considering that (request),” she told reporters in an ambush interview after a meeting earlier this week with the camp of Mangudadatu and his lawyer Nena Santos, which accused Baraan and some members of the prosecution team of accepting bribes from the camp of the Ampatuans.

De Lima said she has yet to receive the report of the National Bureau of Investigation on the bribery charges against Baraan, who has vehemently denied the allegations.

“I’m the one caught in the middle. I’m trying to balance everything,” she said. 

De Lima said she trusts the DOJ team as much as she recognizes the contributions of the private prosecutors like Santos to the case. Still, she pointed out that changing the composition of the DOJ panel at this point in the trial would be impractical.

“We already changed the panel three or four times, and I was told there are no more takers. Besides, it would be difficult for a new panel to go back to square one when the trial is already in the defense presentation,” she explained.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines launched Thursday a one-month campaign leading up to the fifth anniversary of the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre to encourage members of media to hold simultaneous candle-lighting ceremonies in their areas of coverage. – Edu Punay, Ric Sapnu, Ramon Lazaro

BARAAN DE LIMA EDU PUNAY JUSTICE SECRETARY LEILA MAGUINDANAO GOV MANGUDADATU NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS OF THE PHILIPPINES NENA SANTOS RAMON LAZARO
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
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