CA affirms bail for Sajid Ampatuan
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - September 3, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines -  The Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld with finality the bail grant for Sajid Islam Ampatuan, one of the accused in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.

In a four-page resolution released last week, the former 16th Division of the CA affirmed its decision last January that upheld the 2015 ruling of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 granting Ampatuan’s petition for bail.

The CA, in a ruling penned by Associate Justice Marie Christine Azcarrage-Jacob, dismissed the motion for reconsideration filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The CA also dismissed the only new argument raised by the DOJ that it should consider as a supervening event the decision of the trial court to discharge Inspector Rex Ariel Diongon as a state witness and to admit his testimony.

The testimony of Diongon was used by prosecutors as evidence to prove Ampatuan’s guilt. 

The CA held that the court ruling would have no relevance to Ampatuan’s case considering that its power of review is limited only to a determination whether or not the trial court issued the order in grave abuse of its discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction.

Associate Justices Ricardo Rosario and Edwin Sorongon concurred in this ruling.

Ampatuan was ordered released by the RTC in 2015 after he posted the recommended bail of P200,000 each or a total of P11.6 million in the 58 counts of murder. The bail bond was undertaken by Travelers Insurance and Surety Corp. 

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