Mangudadatu urges court to be wary of Zaldy Ampatuan's request

MANILA, Philippines – Maguindanao 2nd District Representative Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu has appealed to the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (QCRTC) to be wary of the request of convicted murdered Datu Zaldy Ampatuan to be transferred to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) infirmary.

“If he is as sick as he and his lawyers claimed him to be, then we leave it up for the NBP doctors and experts to determine it. I am not against him seeking medical assistance as long as it is done within the confines of the NBP infirmary in Muntinlupa," Mangudadatu said in a statement on Saturday, January 4.

"Hindi po sa Makati Medical Center o sa ano pa mang mamahalin at pribadong hospital  (Not in Makati Medical Center or any other expensive private hospital) where he is allowed to stay comfortably inside a hospital suite,” the lawmaker added.

In an urgent motion dated December 23, 2019, Ampatuan said through his lawyer that he needed to undergo therapy and rehabilitation to continue with his daily medication. He cited therapy, rehabilitation and medication reasons as prescribed by his doctors. (READ: Ampatuans start to appeal guilty massacre verdict)

The motion was filed 4 days after QCRTC Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis Reyes convicted Ampatuan brothers Datu Andal Jr, Zaldy, and Anwar Sr  of 57 counts of murder in the grisly 2009 Maguindanao massacre. The attack targeted the convoy of Mangudadatu's family members and supporters, and members of the media.

Ampatuan had been confined for more than 40 days at the Makati Medical Center after he suffered a stroke, but he was returned to Bilibid on orders of Judge Reyes ahead of the verdict, as he was already in stable condition.

Mangudadatu said his family's 10-year legal battle with the Ampatuans "showed me how devious and calculating they are."

"Hindi malayong isipin nila ang option na tumakas. ‘Pag nangyari 'yun, magiging napakahirap na para sa ating kapulisan na mahuli silang muli (It’s not far-fetched to think that escaping is among their options. If that happens, it would be very hard for the police to arrest them again)," the lawmaker said. 

The Ampatuans are appealing the verdict. – Rappler.com