DOJ chief hopes decision on Maguindanao massacre out soon
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - November 8, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines —Amid reports that the ruling on the Maguindanao massacre case would be postponed until next month, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said yesterday he is still hoping that the lower court would come out with a decision “sooner than later.”

It was reported that Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes had sent a letter to the Supreme Court (SC) requesting that she be given 30 more days to decide on the 10-year-old Maguindanao massacre case. 

But when asked about the alleged request made by Reyes, SC spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka said, “Right now, I have no information on that.”

Guevarra, who had earlier hoped that there would be a ruling before the 10th anniversary of the mass murder on Nov. 23, said while it is up to the SC to decide on the request for an extension, he is still hoping that the judge would issue a ruling soon. 

Under existing rules, a judge has 90 days to decide on a case upon the termination of trial. Reyes submitted the case for decision in August and has until Nov. 22 to promulgate the case. 

If her request for a month-long extension is granted, she would have until Dec. 22 to render a decision. 

There were 197 suspects initially charged for the massacre, which claimed the lives of 58 people including 32 media practitioners.   

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