Province ‘owns’ backhoe used to bury massacre victims-A A +A
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
THE backhoe used to bury victims of the November 2009 massacre in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao was owned by the Provincial Government, a witness said Wednesday.
Entang Pinagayao, an employee of the Maguindanao Provincial Government, appeared before the sala of Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes on Wednesday to disclose what he knew about the killing of 57 people in Maguindanao province in 2009.
Pinagayao was the provincial property custodian at the time of the massacre and was in charge of the backhoe that was used to bury the massacre victims' bodies.
However, instead of objecting, defense lawyer Sigfrid Fortun stipulated that Pinagayao would be able to identify the documents showing that the province owned the backhoe and that these documents were authentic.
"That’s not damaging to us. In fact, we are going to use these same documents later," a confident Fortun said after the hearing on case in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig.
The prosecution then proceeded to mark the documentary evidence and Pinagayao was later allowed to leave the witness stand after his testimony.
Families of the 57 massacre victims have pointed to the backhoe, which bear the words "Property of the province of Maguindanao-Gov. Datu Andal Ampataun Sr." as a sign that the Ampatuans were involved in the killings.
The equipment was allegedly abandoned by armed men responsible for the killings as soon as Army soldiers approached the massacre site. (AH/Sunnex)