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Court junks plea of councilor accused in Maguindanao massacre

  • Written by Cory Martinez
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 331

A Quezon City court has junked the appeal of a former councilor accused in the November 2009 Maguindanao massacre case to reconsider its earlier order denying his motion to demurrer to evidence.

Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the QC Regional Trial Court Branch 221 denied the motion for reconsideration (MR) filed by accused Mohamad Sangki due to lack of merit.
    
Sangki, through his legal counsel, filed the MR asking the court to reverse its June 19, 2017 order denying his demurrer to evidence and issue another order that will grant said demurrer on the ground that the evidence against him failed to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
    
Demurrer  to  evidence is being filed by an accused after  the  prosecution  rests  its case. Under the pleadings,   the   court   may   dismiss   the   action   on   the   ground   of insufficiency  of  evidence  based on  its  own  initiative  after  giving  the prosecution  the  opportunity  to  be  heard  or  upon  demurrer  to evidence filed by the accused with or without leave of court.
    
In his MR, the accused argued that the testimony that he overheard the plan to ambush on Nov. 20, 2009 the Mangudadatus, could not be given credence as it shows the incredibility of the prosecution witness’ story, Rasul Sangki, especially on the matter of knowledge of the purported plan.
    
“Whether true or not, the testimony of Rasul Sangki make out that herein accused Mohamad Sangki knew about the purported unlawful objective of Datu Unsay (principal accused Andal Ampatuan Jr.).  The accused, however, did not refute such testimony of his nephew,” Sangki said in his MR.
    
In denying the MR, Judge Reyes stressed that assuming for the sake of argument that accused indeed did not know of the plan to harm the Mangudadatu convoy, however, the matter of his failure to give aid to the victims in the face of all those armed men allegedly ready to kill as admitted by him, to the mind of the Court, is something which likewise ought to be clarified, considering then as  a Sanggunian Bayan member of Datu Abdullah Sangki.
    
Following the denial of the MR, the court ordered the accused to present his evidence on Aug. 16 and 17.