Meanwhile, the PTFOMS said they will remain vigilant to ensure that there will be no more delays regarding the case.
“We will exhaust all means to help guard the sanctity of the judicial process in these crucial times, so that justice may finally be served in these cases,” according to PTFOMs executive director Presidential Communications Usec. Joel Egco.
This year will be the 10th anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre that happened on November 23, 2009.
Fifty people were killed during the incident which includes 32 journalists.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) expects judgement to be rendered on the accused in the killing of 58 individuals in the gruesome massacre that happened in Maguindanao in November 2009.
According to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, the 10-year trial on the case was finally completed on July 17, 2019.
“The parties were given until 15 August 2019 to submit simultaneously their respective memorandum or written summation,” Guevarra said in a statement.
“After which the case shall be considered as submitted for decision, with or without the memoranda of the parties,” he added.
The DOJ then expects that a judgment will be rendered before the massacre’s 10th anniversary November 23, 2019.
“And that justice will finally be served,” the Justice Secretary said.
The judgement in November is expected to end the long wait for justice for the families of the victims of the gruesome crime.
Fifty people were killed in Sitio Masalay, Barangay Salman, Ampatuan, Maguindanao, including 32 journalists, four of them from UNTV.
Some brutally shot, others buried alive in pits, while several bodies were left lying nearby in the massacre known as the single deadliest event for journalists in history. – MNP (with details from Mai Bermudez)
Another prosecution witness in Maguindanao massacre case has changed his previous statement saying he was only threatened to testify against the accused.
In 2011, Lagudin Alfonso testified in court with another eyewitness, Thonti Lawai.
Based on their previous statements, Alfonso and Lawai allegedly heard the accused, former governor, Andal Ampatuan Sr., order the killing of his political opponent, the Mangudadatus, and their convoy during the filing of the certificate of candidacy for the Maguindanao gubernatorial race on November 23, 2009.
They also supposedly heard gunshots during the day of the incident.
However, according to Alfonso’s new statement submitted to the court, he was not at the checkpoint where the victims were blocked before they were shot.
Alfonso said he was with Lawai. They were on their way to the house of a Rasul Sangki. He added that he also saw the other witnesses being forced to sign a document without knowing its contents.
“I was present when he was forced to sign the document. I was in fact also forced to sign a similar document. We were both forced to sign documents without knowing their contents. As for Thonti, that was the document he was forced to sign,” the judicial affidavit reads.
“Thonti and I, including our respective families were threatened that if we do not sign, we will be killed,” Alfonso added.
After signing, they were told they were going to testify in court in relation to the Maguindanao massacre. Alfonso claimed that Toto Mangudadatu, Rasul Sangki, and Mohamad Sangki were the individuals who forced them to testify against the accused.
Meanwhile, the victims’ legal counsel, Atty. Nena Santos said these witnesses were paid and the court will not believe their statements.
“Recantation nga alam mo naman sa law ang recantation ay hindi pinapaniwalaan ng husgado, (That is recantation. You know, in law, a judge will not believe in a recantation),” Atty. Santos said.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)
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