MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the prosecution panel in the Maguindanao massacre case to ensure partial ruling for some of the accused by the end of the year.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque gave the update on the case during a press briefing in Cotabato on Tuesday, June 19.
“The President has instructed the prosecution panel to do its best to get partial judgment against some of the accused within the year,” said Roque.
“That is the marching order of the President when he conferred with the prosecution panel. And we hope to do that,” he added.
Roque was lead counsel for 15 of the massacre victims back when he was chairman of the Center for International Law (CenterLaw).
In November 2017, Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) head Joel Egco had told Rappler that a court decision on two of the principally accused – Akmad “Tato” Ampatuan Sr and Anwar Ampatuan Sr – may be handed down in 2018.
Anwar Ampatuan Sr is the grandson of former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr, the alleged mastermind of the massacre who died in July 2015. Akmad is Andal’s son-in-law.
Anwar and Akmad are among the 13 accused whose cases have been brought to the court for a decision.
The Maguindanao massacre, which took place in November 2009, is the worst case of election-related violence in the Philippines, involving the killing of 58 people, including 32 journalists. – Rappler.com