IF ANDAL AMPATUAN SR. and his sons ruled Maguindanao as if they owned the province, perhaps it was because they really owned a sizeable chunk of it — and parts of Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Davao City, and Makati City as well.
Andal Sr. and his sons Andal Jr. and Zaldy Ampatuan, officials who hail from one of the poorest provinces in the country, own close to five million square meters of property scattered throughout Maguindanao, Cotabato, Davao, and even in ritzy Dasmariñas Village in Makati, according to records in the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 22, where there is a pending civil forfeiture case against the Ampatuan properties.
Legal experts warned of a looming crisis in the justice system after public prosecutors openly defied an order by Acting Justice Secretary Alberto Agra to drop the murder charges against two prominent members of the Ampatuan clan accused of involvement in the November 23 Maguindanao Massacre last year. Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Governor [...]
Media groups denounce decision of Justice Secretary Alberto Agra to drop the murder charges against Zaldy and Akmad Ampatuan in connection with the Maguindanao Massacre.
THE petition for bail of the principal accused in the November 23, 2009 Massacre in Ampatuan town, Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. took on a new twist Wednesday, February 10. The counsel for the defense, Atty. Philip Sigfrid Fortun, today filed a motion seeking Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 221 to inhibit herself from the proceedings.
HEARINGS on the petition for bail filed by the accused in the Maguindanao massacre began 5 January 5, 2010 before Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 221.
THE prosecution considers his testimony crucial to its case against Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., who stands accused in the November 23 mass murder of 57 people in Maguindanao. But Ampatuan town Vice Mayor Rasul Sangki’s words were almost lost in translation as the interpreter appointed by the court struggled to keep up with his testimony, which he gave in a mixture of Filipino and Maguindanaoan.
From Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes, to the lawyers of both the prosecution and the defense panels, down to the relatives of the victims of the November 23 massacre, all appeared resolute on the first day of what is expected to be a long, drawn-out trial of Mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr. who currently faces 41 counts of murder. Save for the sound of cameras clicking, there was no noticeable tumult from the other side of the court, where several relatives of the massacre victims were seated as Ampatuan, clad in a red striped, short-sleeved shirt and denims entered the converted courtroom in PNP headquarters in Quezon City.