Two more accused in Maguindanao massacre plead not guilty
Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) - March 13, 2013 - 3:50pm

 

MANILA, Philippines - Two more accused in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre pleaded not guilty in their arraignment on Wednesday before the courtroom of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 inside the Quezon City Jail Annex of the Metro Manila District Jail (MMDJ) in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig City.

Dexson Saptula alias Rene Matuti and Norhato Kamino alias Alfeche Banding entered not guilty pleas when the charge sheet for multiple murders was read.

A total of 87 accused have now been arraigned in connection with the massacre that have also implicated former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., his son Andal Ampatuan Jr., and former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Zaldy Ampatuan.

The arraignment of Bong Andal, which was also scheduled on Wednesday, did not happen after his lawyers filed an urgent motion for reconsideration of their previously filed motion for deferment of his arraignment last Monday.

Andal was tagged by authorities as the operator of the backhoe that buried the 58 massacre victims, including 32 print and broadcast journalists, allegedly upon the orders of the Ampatuans.

Meanwhile, the prosecution panel headed by Chief State Prosecutor Archimedes Manabat told the court that they would be presenting a total of 25 witnesses to deny the bail petition of Zaldy Ampatuan.

Manabat told the court that they cannot rest their case on Zaldy's bail petition until the court allows Police Chief Inspector Rex Ariel Diongon to take the witness stand.

Diongon was the group commander of the 1508th Police Provincial Mobile Group at the time of the massacre that manned the checkpoints that blocked the convoy of the Mangudadatus and members of the media on their way to Shariff Aguak where then Buluan town vice mayor Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu was supposed to have filed his certificate of candidacy for Maguindanao governor. 

ALFECHE BANDING ANDAL AMPATUAN JR. ANDAL AMPATUAN SR. AUTONOMOUS REGION BONG ANDAL CAMP BAGONG DIWA CHIEF STATE PROSECUTOR ARCHIMEDES MANABAT DEXSON SAPTULA GOVERNOR ZALDY AMPATUAN MAGUINDANAO MUSLIM MINDANAO
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