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Metro

Fiscals rest case vs 54 Maguindanao massacre suspects

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The prosecution panel in the five-year Maguindanao massacre trial has officially rested its case against 54 of the suspects charged with 58 counts of murder.

Court records showed that the panel led by city prosecutor Archimedes Manabat filed on Aug. 5 a 94-page formal offer of evidence against 45 suspects, including deceased primary accused Andal Ampatuan Sr. and some members of his family.

The formal offer of evidence was filed after the June filing of a similar document against nine other suspects, including the alleged operator of the backhoe used to dig the graves of the victims.

The filing of the formal offer of evidence on the trial proper signals the end of the prosecution’s turn in presenting witnesses in evidence-in-chief.

The lawyers of the suspects included in the formal offers will now start presenting their evidence and witnesses once the court rules on which evidence it would admit.

In addition to Andal Sr., also included in the formal offer are his son Anwar Ampatuan Sr. and son-in-law Akmad “Tato” Ampatuan.

Andal Sr., who died due to liver cancer on July 17, was still included in the formal offer as the court has yet to officially drop the charges against him.

Aside from the three Ampatuans, the prosecutors also rested their case against 12 other suspects whose bail petitions have already been denied.

Also included in the two formal offers are 39 suspects who did not file bail petitions, including backhoe operator Bong Andal.

The formal offer included dozens of sets of exhibits presented during the duration of the trial, as well as the testimonies of 151 witnesses.

AKMAD

AMPATUAN

AMPATUANS

ANDAL AMPATUAN SR.

ANDAL SR.

ANWAR AMPATUAN SR.

ARCHIMEDES MANABAT

BONG ANDAL

EVIDENCE

FORMAL

MAGUINDANAO

SOCCSKSARGEN

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