Victims’ lawyer welcomes promulgation of judgment in Ampatuan massacre case

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Lawyer Nena Santos, counsel of the still grieving families of victims in the Ampatuan massacre, on Monday welcomed a court order setting the promulgation of judgment in the infamous case.

“We are happy that finally a verdict will be issued by the court. Excited na lahat ng families ng mga victims na madinig ang hatol ng huwes,” Santos said in a message to reporters.

Earlier, the Quezon City city regional trial court came up with an order setting the date of promulgation on December 19 at Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan in Taguig.

The order was signed by Branch 221 Presiding Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.

The Maguindanao massacre (or Ampatuan massacre) claimed the lives of 58 individuals including 32 media workers on November 23, 2009.

Members of the Ampatuan clan are facing criminal charges for allegedly masterminding the cold-blooded killing.

The victims that included the wife of Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu were in a convoy to Shariff Aguak town to file Mangudadatu’s certificate of candidacy for the May 2010 elections.

A group of armed men stopped the convoy, shot them dead and used a backhoe to bury them while they were still onboard the vehicles.

There were a total of 197 accused in the massacre for multiple murders, including prime suspect Andal Ampatuan Jr.

Aside from Andal Ampatuan Jr., others accused of the same charges were his father, the late Andal Ampatuan Sr., and his brothers Zaldy and Datu Sajid Islam Ampatuan.

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