THE Department of Justice has indicted eight more suspects in the infamous Ampatuan massacre, but dropped the charges against 40 others over what is considered to be the most atrocious media killing in history.
Charged from the second batch of complaint, according to private prosecutor Nena Santos, were members of the private army of the once mighty Ampatuan clan in war-torn Maguindanao.
On the other hand, charges were dropped against 40 individuals for lack of probale cause, the DOJ resolution showed.
“The struggle is far more huge this time around,” Santos said, as she questioned the dropping of charges against the 40 respondents when evidence against them are strong.
Last January, the Quezon City regional trial court convicted former Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor Zaldy Ampatuan, and scores of other individuals in connection with the grisly Ampatuan massacre case where 58 persons including 32 media workers were killed in probably the most atrocious media killing on record.
In a 761-page decision, Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes sentenced them to reclusion perpetua without benefit of parole for 57 counts of murder.
Apart from Zaldy and Andal Jr., likewise convicted were Anwar Ampatuan Sr., Anwar “Ipi” Ampatuan Jr., and Anwar Sajid “Ulo” Ampatuan.
Convicted with them too were Manny, Mohades, and Misuari Ampatuan, several police officers and other personalities.
Furthermore, Reyes required the convicts to indemnify the heirs of the victims huge amount of money that included legal interests until they are fully paid.
As her basis in convicting them, Reyes said in her decision said that the prosecution was able to establish their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Reyes also convicted several individuals as accomplices and sentenced them to a maximum prison term of 10 years.