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The Ampatuans, according to prosecution witnesses, had planned to murder Toto Mangudadatu as early as July 2009, when he declared he was running for governor to contest the Ampatuans' control over Maguindanao province.

The defense panel invokes the high bar of "presumption of innocence" for the accused, under the Constitution. The prosecution says it has presented evidence and eyewitnesses to show that Datu Unsay Ampatuan committed the crime beyond reasonable doubt.

Citing the “voluminous records” of the case, the judge has requested a 30-day postponement of the promulgation of judgment. The Supreme Court agreed. In two days, on Dec. 19, 2019, it will finally happen.

The Court of Appeals had ordered the freezing of all the known assets of Andal Ampatuan Sr., his sons Andal Jr. and Zaldy, and 25 other Ampatuan family members on June 6, 2011. The order covered 597 bank accounts, 113 real properties, 142 firearms, and 132 motor vehicles allegedly owned by the Ampatuans. By then, however, Andal Jr. had sold eight real properties.

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