He purchased eight of the properties in Davao City of Andal Ampatuan Jr. Young and recently married lawyer in 2012, Arnel Cortez Manaloto is based in Angeles City, Pampanga, roughly a thousand kilometers north of the Maguindanao province of his more famous client.
They come from one of the poorest provinces of the country but the Ampatuans ranked among Asia's crazy rich, while they were in power. Court records showed that they owned five million square meters of property in parts of Maguindanao, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Davao City, and even in ritzy Dasmarinas Village in Makati City.
Judgment day by the court comes tomorrow for the 197 accused of multiple murder of 58 persons, including 32 journalists and media workers, in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao, on Nov. 23, 2009. For 10 years now, the widows and orphans of those killed had longed for justice.
The lessons of the trial belong to the people so these can empower them to end impunity, to change the culture of politics and the course of our national history. For the victims, the decision should allow them finally to rest in peace, grant their loved ones a measure of justice, and with it, comfort and consolation after their long wait.