Ampatuan attended the wedding of Bay Nor Aila Kristina at a five-star hotel in Pasay City after Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 gave him a three-hour furlough.
Edd Gumban
Zaldy Ampatuan leaves detention for daughter’s wedding
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - August 23, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor Zaldy Ampatuan, one of the principal suspects in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, was allowed by a Quezon City court to leave detention on Tuesday to attend the wedding of his daughter.

Ampatuan attended the wedding of Bay Nor Aila Kristina at a five-star hotel in Pasay City after Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 gave him a three-hour furlough.

He left the Quezon City jail annex at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City at around 4 p.m.

Officers of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) escorted Ampatuan to the wedding venue.

“He returned to his detention cell at around 7 p.m.,” BJMP spokesman Chief Inspector Xavier Solda said in a text message to The STAR.

In a three-page order released by the Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday, Reyes cited humanitarian considerations in granting Ampatuan’s request despite opposition from government prosecutors.

“It is a momentous family occasion, which must be witnessed by the couple’s loved ones, especially the accused,” the court ruling read.        

The court ordered the former governor to shoulder all the expenses for his furlough.

The DOJ panel had opposed Ampatuan’s petition for furlough, arguing that “he could not equate himself with those who have not transgressed the law.”

DOJ prosecutors also cited the court’s earlier ruling denying a similar plea of Ampatuan to attend the graduation of his eldest son in Cotabato City.

It was not the first time that Ampatuan had been allowed to go out of detention.

He had been granted furlough to attend the graduation of another child in a university in Quezon City.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra was dismayed by the court’s decision.

“The prosecution opposed Zaldy Ampatuan’s motion, but the court granted him furlough for humanitarian reasons,” he said.

The DOJ said the charges against Ampatuan and 194 other accused had been submitted for resolution by the court – except for the cases of his brother, former Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. and two others.

The clan’s patriarch, former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., died in detention in July 2015.

Guevarra earlier vowed to resolve the multiple murder cases by next year.  – With Emmanuel Tupas

MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE ZALDY AMPATUAN
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