Andal Jr. testifies in own trial
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - October 27, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - For the first time in almost six years of court proceedings, Maguindanao massacre primary suspect Andal Ampatuan Jr. took the witness stand to deny his supposed participation in the Nov. 23, 2009 bloodbath.

Court records showed that Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes allowed Ampatuan to take the witness stand on Oct. 22 during the hearing of his motion to post bail.

Solis-Reyes allowed Ampatuan to testify “in the interest of higher justice” despite the request of the prosecution panel to disallow him to take the witness stand.

Based on his judicial affidavit submitted to the court, Ampatuan – then the mayor of the municipality of Datu Unsay, Maguindanao – said he was at the municipal hall conducting a hearing with local officials from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. of Nov. 23, 2009.

His lawyer, Salvador Panelo, submitted the supposed minutes of the said meeting.

He earlier presented a local government employee who also testified that Ampatuan was at the municipal hall on the day of the massacre.

The four-page judicial affidavit of Ampatuan did not disclose the presence of the suspect after 12:30 p.m.

The massacre, which killed 58 people including 32 media practitioners, happened at the town of Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

During cross-examination, the suspect was asked if he knew the distance from Datu Unsay to Ampatuan, to which he replied in the negative.

Prosecution witnesses earlier claimed that Ampatuan led more than 100 men who stopped and brutally murdered the convoy led by the wife of then Buluan vice mayor and now Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu.

Mangudadatu’s wife – along with female relatives, aides and lawyers, as well as members of the media – was set to file the certificate of candidacy of her husband, who was supposed to challenge a scion of the Ampatuan clan in the gubernatorial race in the 2010 polls.

Ampatuan is one of the 197 suspects initially tagged in the massacre. Members of his family, including the now deceased patriarch Andal Ampatuan Sr., have been tagged as masterminds in the incidents.

The Ampatuans have consistently denied the allegations.

ACIRC AMPATUAN ANDAL AMPATUAN JR. ANDAL AMPATUAN SR. DATU UNSAY ESMAEL MANGUDADATU JUDGE JOCELYN SOLIS-REYES MAGUINDANAO MAGUINDANAO GOV QUEZON CITY REGIONAL TRIAL COURT BRANCH SALVADOR PANELO
Philstar
  • 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!

SIGN IN
or sign in with