Trial court junks Zaldy Ampatuan’s bail bid
The Quezon City regional trial court handling the Maguindanao massacre case has junked the motion for bail of former Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima disclosed this on Wednesday after the Department of Justice received the order of Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 dated Sept. 15, 2015 denying the petition for bail of one of the principal accused in the multiple murder case.
De Lima lauded the prosecution team led by Taguig City Prosecutor Archimedes Manabat for the development.
“I have never doubted for a single moment the strength of the evidence of the State against the principal accused in the Maguindanao massacre case. The denial of the bail petition of Zaldy Ampatuan only shows that the focus of the DoJ prosecution team on this case is unwavering,” De Lima said.
The Justice secretary pointed out that the lower court ruling only proved that the “prosecution’s evidence is strong.”
Because of this, Ampatuan would remain in detention throughout the duration of the trial until conviction and sentencing, she said
The prosecution’s evidence opposing Ampatuan’s bail bid include 300 pieces of exhibits and testimonies.
Other pieces of evidence admitted by the court include sworn statements of various witnesses, as well as the medico-legal reports, autopsy pictures, anatomical sketches of the cadavers done based on the description of the witnesses, and records from telecommunications companies.
Likewise accepted as prosecution evidence were the testimonies of Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, former Ampatuan vice mayor Rasul Sangki, accused-turned-state witnesses Sukarno Badal and Esmael Canapia, and eyewitnesses Noh Akil, Lakmodin Saliao and Esmail Amil Enog.
Ampatuan is among the 197 suspects charged for the massacre. Other members of the clan including its patriarch Andal Sr. were charged with 58 counts of murder. Fifty-eight people, including 32 media practitioners, died in the massacre.