After a year, I haven't posted an update on the massacre's trial proceedings. Sad to know that until now there's no lighter side of the case... But, I'M SO HAPPY still that there's a lot of people out there supports the campaign. Each day members grew bigger and almost reached far from the base community. TO ALL OF YOU, as members of the CAUSE that i'm in now, let us all join hands by sharing a little prayer of hope. May the souls of the victims be given justice and same to their families... Peace to our communities... May GOD BLESS US ALL and GOD GUIDE US always... Be safe my dear friends... UPDATE #1
The prosecution witnesses (continuation)...
- SPO4 Alejandro Ubag, local scene of the crime operative, who made sketches of the crime scene
- SPO2 Cixon Kasan, then officer-in-charge of the Buluan municipal police, who registered the confessions made by eyewitness Kenny Dalandag in the police blotter
- Elmer Piedad, ballistician from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), whose testimony was deferred after failing to prove his capability to testify in the trial
- Lawyer Ricardo Diaz, chief of the NBI counter-terrorism unit, who was the first to take the witness stand in January 2010; he took the testimonies of several witnesses in the crime, and gave the court a flash drive containing photographs taken by the military of the crime site.
- Jerry Atanoso, a videographer from the Provincial Planning and Development Office of Sultan Kudarat, who took footage of the crime site
- Representatives from Smart and Globe Telecommunications, who verified the time and date of the calls made by victim Bai Genalin "Gigi" Mangudadatu to her husband Esmael Mangudadatu.
- ELR/YA, GMA News
The prosecution witnesses (continuation)...
- Dr. Ricardo Rodaje of the NBI, who autopsied eight bodies including that of Mangudadatu's wife Genalin
- Chief Inspector Dean Cabrera of the PNP Crime Laboratory, who autopsied 12 bodies
- Dr. Reynaldo Romero of the NBI, who autopsied six victims
- Chief Inspector Felino Brunia Jr. from the PNP Crime Laboratory, who autopsied 14 victims and said some had shattered skulls due to gunshot wounds
- Dr. Rupert Sumbilon Jr of the NBI, who autopsied two victims and testified that he recovered metal fragments in their bodies
- Dr. Tomas Dimaandal of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao police, who autopsied three bodies
- Chief Inspector Raymond Cabling, also chief of SOCO, who said the victims died of multiple gunshot wounds and showed photographs he took of the crime site
Relatives of the victims
- Former Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu, who lost his wife and two sisters in the massacre
- Khadafeh Mangudadatu, older brother of Maguindanao Gov. Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu, who said he met with the members of the ambushed convoy before they set out for Ampatuan town
- Ramonita Salaysay, widow of Mindanao Gazette's Napoleon Salaysay; asking for P15.1 million in damages
- Editha Tiamzon, mother of UNTV reporter Victor Nuñez; asking for
P15.1 million in damages
- Noemi Parcon, widow of Joel Parcon, publisher of a Mindanao-based magazine; asking for P20 million in damages
- Myrna Reblando, widow of Manila Bulletin's Alejandro Reblando; she refused to specify exact damages, saying no amount of money could replace the life of her husband
- Juliet Evardo, mother of UNTV editor Jolito Evardo; asking for P15 million in damages
- Ma. Cirpriana Gatchalian, widow of Davao-based MetroGazette correspondent Santos Gatchalian Jr; asking for P16.1 million in damages
- Emily Lopez, cousin of media worker Arturo Betia; asking for P12.7 million in damages
- Lumangal Sabddula, wife of Farida Sabddula; asking for P26 million in damages
- Zenaida Duhay, mother of journalist Joy Duhay; asking for P15 million in damages
- Arlyn Lupogan, wife of journalist Lindo Lupogan; asking for P20 million in damages
- Bai Ayesha Vanessa Hajar Andamen, daughter of Bai Eden Mangudadatu-Andamen; asking for P3 billion in damages
- Fairodz Usman Demello, widow of driver Eugene Demello; asking for P30 million in damages
- Gloria Romero-Teodoro, wife of journalist Andres Teodoro of the Central Mindanao Inquirer; asking for P15 million in damages
- Lerma Palabrica, mother of Mercy Palabrica; asking for P120,000 in damages
- Merly Perante, widow of Ronnie Perante, a correspondent for General Santos City-based Mindanao Gold Star Daily; asking for P15 million in damages
- Estrella Razon, wife of journalist Fernando "Ranny" Razon; asking for P20.2 million in damages
- Femmalyn Magaway, cousin of Periodico Ini reporter Noel Decena; asking for P54,000 in damages
- Mohammad Palawan, Mangudadatu's uncle and husband of Rahima Palawan; asking for P256,500 in damages
Maguindanao massacre trial: The prosecution witnesses
MARK MERUEÑAS, GMA NEWS November 25, 2011 6:03pm
t's been almost two years since the Maguindanao murder trial began, and the prosecution team has presented around 70 witnesses who overcame fears of possible reprisals from the accused to testify in open court.
The number represents a third of more than 200 witnesses the prosecutors intend to send to the stand. Despite the current pace of the presentation of evidence, private prosecutor Nena Santos thinks the panel is still making steady progress, considering that her team had to overcome a controversial shakeup in its composition early this year.
GMA News Online has prepared a partial list of the witnesses presented so far by the prosecution. Among them are farmers who happened to be near or at the crime site at Barangay Salman on the day of the killings, medical professionals who autopsied the remains, and victims' relatives who went beyond anger and anguish to recall the events surrounding one of the worst election-related attacks in Philippine history.
- Ampatuan Vice Mayor Rasul Sangki, who tagged Andal Ampatuan Jr as the mastermind in the killings. He said he heard Andal Sr order Andal Jr via two-way radio to carry out the attack. He also said he saw Andal Jr shoot the victims.
- Mohammad Sangki, a Sangguniang Bayan official in Datu Abdullah Sangki town, who said he witnessed the suspects flag down the victims and kill them at a hilly portion of the village
- Lakmodin Saliao, former househelp of the Ampatuans, who claimed to have seen and heard members of the clan planning the massacre over dinner on November 17 and 22, 2009
- Noh Akil, a councilman of Barangay Salman, who saw checkpoints being set up at Sitio Malating
- Norodin Mauyag, a farmer, who saw Andal Jr and his men flag down the convoy at Sitio Malating in Barangay Salman on November 23, 2009
- Akmad Abubakar Esmael, a corn farmer from Sitio Masalay, who testified that he saw the actual killing of the victims
- Amil Abdul Satar Maliwawaw, a farmer, who said he was near the checkpoint where the victims were flagged down
- Esmael Amil Enog, who claims to be a former member of the Ampatuan's private army; he testified that he drove 36 other militiamen from Shariff Aguak to a checkpoint in Sitio Malating
- Haical Mangacop, a farmer who accompanied Enog during the trip
- Thonti Lawani, a 32-year-old local farmer, who saw Andal Jr and other armed men in a 'war-like' convoy driving up a hilly portion of the village on the day of the massacre
- Lagueden Alfonso, a local farmer who saw Andal Jr talking to alleged members of the Ampatuan clan's civilian volunteer organization along a highway in Salman village
- Elo Sisay, a member of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit who was detailed at a military detachment not too far from the crime site and heard the plan to ambush the victims
- Corporal Zaldy Raymundo, who testified that he saw policemen several days before and on the day of the massacre at Barangay Salman
- Police Inspector Rex Ariel Diongon, prospective state witness who admitted that his first affidavit was fabricated to cover up the crime; he was made to sign an affidavit saying the checkpoint was set up due to a bomb threat.
- Police Inspector Michael Joy Macaraeg, another prospective state witness; the plan was dropped after the prosecution established that he was not among the lawmen who manned the checkpoint from November 20 to 22, and was only stationed at the checkpoint on the day of the massacre
- PO1 Rainer Ebus, another cop that the prosecution had planned to turn into state witness and who allegedly saw Ampatuan Jr and his men shoot the victims
(Continued on UPDATE #4)
(continuation of UPDATE #2)
Prominent members of the Ampatuan clan, including its patriarch and his three sons, are facing murder charges for the killings and are being detained at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.
The Ampatuans are accused of plotting and carrying out the killings that left 57 people, including 32 journalists, dead.
Except for random motorists who found themselves on the same highway at the same time, the victims were part of the electoral convoy accompanying Mangudadatu's wife and two sisters who were supposed to file the certificate of candiacy of Esmael Mangudadatu for May 2010 polls, a move that was seen as a challenge to the Ampatuans.
Patriarch Andal Ampatuan Sr. had served as provincial governor twice before the massacre happened, while his sons were also government officials – Rizaldy (regional governor), Andal Jr. (town mayor), and Sajid (acting governor).
Enog had refused government protection, insisting he did not want to be confined inside a government safe house.
While Enog admitted to being a driver of the gunmen, the first slain witness, Suwaib Upham, alias "Jessie," confessed to being one of the killers. He had agreed to testify as a state witness in exchange for immunity against his comrades and his bosses, the Ampatuans.
Upham was supposed to have been added to the prosecution's list of around 100 witnesses if he were not murdered.
He likewise turned down an offer of government protection. Upham reportedly feared going to the DOJ office in Manila because he was told the Ampatuans controlled the agency, and ultimately chose to return to his home in Maguindanao.
The prosecution said Upham could have been one of its "biggest" witnesses.
Chainsaw murder of Maguindanao massacre witness meant to terrify
MARK D. MERUEÑAS, GMA NEWS June 2, 2012 3:30pm
The victim was not just killed but dismembered in a signature style — with a chainsaw.
The grisly gangland murder of a person believed to be Maguindanao massacre eyewitness Esmail Amil Enog, whose chopped-up body was discovered last week, was the latest in a series of attempts to weaken the case against jailed leaders of the Ampatuan clan, accused in the slaughter of 57 people in November 2009.
Maguindanao has long been notorious for chainsaw murders meant to terrify the population.
"The body was put in a sack and it had been chopped up, probably chain-sawed to pieces," private prosecutor Nena Santos said, insisting that it was Enog's body. The former driver of the Ampatuans had been missing since March.
His body was found in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao and he is believed to have been dead for more than two weeks. Other prosecutors cautioned that they have yet to receive an official identification from the police.
Bloody campaign to derail prosecution
Almost three years after the massacre, with prominent members of the Ampatuan clan in jail while standing trial, the murder of Enog has highlighted anew a bloody campaign to derail the efforts of the prosecution.
A driver of a large number of the gunmen to the massacre site, Enog was the second witness to be slain; the first, in 2010, was Suwaib Upham who claimed to be one of the perpetrators of the massacre.
Enog had testified last year, telling the court that as an employee of the Ampatuan family, he drove 36 of the clan's armed followers to the site where 57 victims were later abducted and then driven to the killing field in Barangay Salman.
Human Rights Watch researcher Carlos Conde said the Enog killing "was intended to send a message, to cause a chilling effect to other witnesses."
In April 2010, businessman Mohamadisa Simpal Sangki, 51, was stabbed and shot dead in Cotabato City in April 2010. He was the uncle of Ampatuan Vice Mayor Rasul Sangki, who was one of the first witnesses to implicate prime suspect Andal Jr, former Datu Unsay town mayor.
The murders are only the most brutal tactics. Other witnesses and loved ones of some of the victims have reported offers of "settlements," which have also been labeled bribes by their lawyers.
In addition to violent deaths, the case has also suffered bad luck. An important state prosecutor involved in the case, Leo Dacera, died in 2010 due to natural causes a year after the mass murder in Ampatuan town.
Enog's testimony in July 2011 centered on his alleged role in the massacre, driving 36 armed members of the Ampatuan clan's private army on the morning of November 23, from an Ampatuan abode in Shariff Aguak town to a checkpoint in Ampatuan town where the victims where later flagged down before being killed.
Following instructions of his direct boss, Alijol Ampatuan, Enog drove the gunmen in a truck in two batches. He did not claim to witness the massacre itself, but heard gunshots while he was driving back to Shariff Aguak.
In court, Enog positively identified four of the accused and currently detained as among those he had driven to the site: Mohades and Misuari Ampatuan; Mohamad Datumanong, alias Nicomedes Tolentino; and Tato Tampogao.
"Witnesses are being hunted down"
New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the Philippine government to "redouble its efforts" to protect witnesses in the murder trial, following Enog's death.
"These witnesses are in extreme danger and it is appalling that they are being hunted down one after the other," HRW deputy Asia director Elaine Pearson said.
Some prosecutors have refused to comment on Enog's supposed death, saying they have yet to receive an official police report confirming that the dismembered body belonged to Enog.
Private prosecutor Nena Santos, however, insists the remains could only be Enog's.
(continued on UPDATE #3)
Private prosecutor: Zaldy Ampatuan given too much rights
BY MARK MERUEÑAS, GMA NEWS May 10, 2012 5:49pm
A private prosecutor in the Maguindanao massacre trial on Thursday criticized suspect Rizaldy "Zaldy" Ampatuan's attempt to get himself cleared from the high-profile case by seeking redress from the Supreme Court.
But despite Ampatuan's petition for review filed with the high court last week, lawyer Harry Roque remained confident that the suspect's arraignment would still push through soon.
"Too much rights are given to Zaldy kaya nga frustrated na ang mga victim," Roque told GMA News Online.
Roque, who teaches law at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, said that despite Ampatuan's fresh petition at the SC, "there is no legal basis to delay his arraignment."
But in a text message to GMA News Online, Ampatuan's legal counsel Sigfrid Fortun maintained that his client has as much rights as the victims and the State.
"That is guaranteed by the Constitution. Zaldy is not asking for anything more than what the law gives him," Fortun said.
"How can anyone say he has been given more than what is guaranteed by law by his having appealed a resolution that originally found him not as aprt of the massacre?"
Ampatuan, former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor, was supposed to be arraigned for 57 counts of murder last April 26, some two and a half years after the grisly killing of 57 people, including 32 journalists in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao.
Much to the dismay of the victims' relatives, the arraignment was reset while Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the Regional Trial Court Branch 221 reviewed the defense's appeal to defer the arraignment.
The supposed arraignment last April was bourne out of the Court of Appeals' decision denying Ampatuan's request to reinvestigate the case.
Ampatuan had insisted on his alibi that he was in Davao City a day before the killings (Nov. 22, 2009) and was in Manila on the day of the slays (Nov. 23, 2009).
Reversal of ruling
Zaldy and former Mamasapano, Maguindanao Mayor Akmad "Tato" Ampatuan had already been cleared from the case by former Justice Secretary Alberto Agra in April 2010.
The erstwhile Justice secretary, however, reversed his ruling a month later in May 2010 and reinstated the two as suspects after the prosecution submitted additional evidence against them.
Last week, Ampatuan elevated the matter to the Supreme Court, requesting that Agra's original resolution in April 2010 be reinstated. Ampatuan pointed out time inconsistencies in the statements of two witnesses that placed him at a meeting in Maguindanao where the attack was supposedly hatched.
Only two of the seven prominent Ampatuan clan members implicated in the massacre have so far been arraigned: clan patriarch Andal Ampatuan Sr. and Andal Jr., Zaldy Ampatuan's father and brother, respectively.
A total of 96 suspects have so far been arrested, while 100 others remain at large. Apart from Ampatuan clan members, the group of suspects also consists of local policemen in Maguindanao and alleged members of the Ampatuan private army. — RSJ, GMA News
Maguindanao massacre suspect wants hospital arrest extended
April 23, 2012 2:55pm
A suspect in the grisly November 2009 Maguindanao massacre on Monday asked the Quezon City court to extend his hospital confinement until such time that he has fully recovered from the injuries he sustained in a bombing incident last month.
Datu Anwar "Ipi" Ampatuan Jr., grandson of former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., also a suspect in the massacre, sought for the extension after the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) advised him to be transferred to the QC Jail Annex in Bicutan.
Datu Ipi is currently under hospital arrest at the Philippine General Hospital for shrapnel wounds and other serious wounds in his spinal cord and other vital parts as a result of the bombing incident in Mamasapano town on March 25, 2012.
The three-page motion was filed through his legal counsel Paris Real before the sala of Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the QC Regional Trial Court Branch 221.
The hospital arrest was in pursuant to the March 28, 29 and 30, 2012 orders and other processes issued by Judge Reyes.
In their motion, Atty. Real said that until now, not all the metallic fragments in Datu Ipi's body have been removed, resulting in his continued paralysis.
"Worse, Datu Ipi has still a gaping wound as big as a fist at his back as a result of the bombing incident. Said huge wound is still being treated periodically lest it would get infected," as stated in the motion.
The lawyer stressed that the advice of the BJMP deputy warden was uncalled for and contrary to the orders of the court.
"Moreover, transferring Datu Ipi to a crowded and unsanitary jail would worsen his medical condition especially his gaping wound which might get seriously infected. In the light of the foregoing and on the bases of humanitarian reasons, it is respectfully prayed that the necessary order be issued for the continued hospitalization of the accused until such that he shall have been operated upon and shall have fully recovered from his fatal injuries," Real said in the motion.
Datu Ipi is the 96th suspect to be arrested for the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre where 57 people were killed, including 32 members of the media. — KBK, GMA News