Andal Jr. threatens to kill guv-A A +A
Thursday, October 7, 2010
THE prime suspect of the gruesome Maguindanao massacre, Andal Ampatuan Jr., threatens to kill Governor Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu last Wednesday, a prosecution lawyer said Thursday.
Lawyer Nena Santos said the incident took place when Mangudadatu approached Andal Jr. during the lunch break of this week’s hearing and told him: “Bakit mo ginawa sa mga babae yun”, apparently referring to the testimony of prosecution witness, Noradin Mauyag.
Mauyag said he saw Andal Jr. pulled and slapped a woman in the ill-fated convoy while firing bullets between her legs when she pleaded for her life.
In a short confrontation, Mangudadatu was surprised when Andal Jr. said: "Baka gusto mo, ikaw naman ang isunod kong ipapatay.”
Guards of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) stepped in to prevent the escalation of arguments between the two, Santos added.
But in an interview after the hearing, Ampatuan counsel Sigfrid Fortun denied the incident.
He even turned the table on the Governor, saying it was Mangudadatu who challenged Andal to a fistfight.
“Pano s’ya makaka-threaten nakaposas s’ya (Andal) at tahimik lang namang nakaupo sa likuran,” Fortun said.
But he refused to confirm if they would bring the issue to the attention of Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.
During last week’s hearing, Mangudadatu claimed there were threats to his life though he did not divulge where it came from.
In related development, government lawyers were told file their positions on the petition filed by former Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao governor Zaldy Ampatuan seeking the reversal of the ruling of the justice department reinstating him as principal accused of the carnage.
The Court of Appeals directed the Office of the Solicitor General, representing the Department of Justice, as well as Zaldy to file their respective memoranda within the non-extendible period of seven days.
Assailed in Zaldy’s petition was the May 5, 2010 resolution of the DOJ reinstating him and Akhmad Ampatuan as respondents in the murder charges.
The May 5 ruling reversed a controversial April 16 resolution that initially dismissed the charges against the two after it drew the ire of the public.
In his petition, Zaldy accused former DOJ chief Alberto Agra of grave abuse of discretion in handing down the May 5 resolution indicting them on the basis of the testimony of a witness who had not been introduced during the preliminary investigation.
Petitioners claimed that the affidavit executed by witness Abdul Talusan was offered as evidence by prosecution lawyer Santos.
In the April 16 resolution, Agra held that the defense of alibi of Zaldy and Akhmad was stronger than the positive identification of another witness, Kenny Dalandag, who claimed to have seen the two in the planning of the massacre.
But in the May 5 resolution of Agra, he admitted Talusan’s sworn statement despite that it was not among the evidence used by the prosecutors in their resolution indicting Zaldy for the massacre.
Petitioners noted that the recommendation for their indictment was based on the sworn statements of witnesses Mangudadatu, Nasser Abdul and Dalandag.
They further pointed out that Agra admitted Talusan’s affidavit without giving them a copy and without according them the opportunity to submit a counter-affidavit.
At the very least, petitioners said Agra should have remanded the case back to the panel for the continuance of the preliminary investigation.
“On both procedural and substantive grounds, the ruling was a patent contravention of existing rules and jurisprudence and amounts to outright arbitrariness. Not only was the petitioner denied due process, but the procedure observed strikes at the heart of orderly administration of justice,” petitioners said.
Zaldy is now detained in Camp Bagong Diwa in along with other 197 co-accused, among them are his father, former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., and younger brother, Andal Jr.
The influential clan was tagged as mastermind in the massacre of a convoy of some 57 persons comprising members of the rival Mangudadatu clan, their supporters, lawyers and accompanying media personnel.(AH/JCV/Sunnex)