2 massacre suspects plead not guilty
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Two suspects recently arrested for their alleged involvement in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre pleaded not guilty yesterday to 58 counts of murder filed against them.

Suspects Kagi Faizal and Gambayan Kasim entered their respective pleas during their arraignment before Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.

The two will be the first set of suspects who will undergo trial after the verdict against over 100 suspects was promulgated last month.

Faizal was arrested on Jan. 6 in Datu Saudi Ampatuan in Maguindanao, while Kasim was arrested three days later in Sharif Aguak town.

The two were among the 80 suspects still at large when the landmark decision was handed down on Dec. 19.

Solis-Reyes last week ordered the cases revived after the two were brought to court by the Maguindanao police.

They are currently detained at the Quezon City Jail-Annex in Camp Bagong Diwa.

In her 761-page decision, Solis-Reyes convicted 28 accused – including five members of the Ampatuan political family – of 57 counts of murder.

Fifteen other suspects were convicted of a lesser accessory to crime of murder, while 56 suspects were acquitted.

The murder case filed in connection with the death of 58th victim Reynaldo Momay – whose remains were never found – was dismissed due to the failure of the prosecution to prove that he was indeed a victim in the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre. 


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