Many massacre actual shooters still scot-free

December 22, 2019

THE private prosecutor in the recently-decided Maguindanao massacre case yesterday lamented that 80 suspects are still scot-free.

While she welcomed the ruling by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, Atty. Nena Santos however expressed belief that some, if not majority, of the unaccounted suspects maybe the actual shooters in the massacre of 58 civilians, 32 of them journalists in 2009.

“May relief dahil doon sa nakapag-convict ng mga principal (suspects). Pero hindi pa 100% makampante dahil may 80 pa po ang dapat hulihin at litisin,” Santos said over GMA News TV.

“Karamihan po sa kanila na-mention na sa testimony, ‘yung naging participation nila sa krimen. Alam namin na marami sa kanila doon ang actual shooters,” she continued.

This developed as the Department of Justice is set to ask the QCRTC to clarify its decision whether or not it convicted or acquitted P/Supt. Bahnarin Kamaong.

Kamaong was said to be a trusted cop of the convicted Datu Andal Ampatuan Jr., and who offered his troop for the infamous carnage.  

His name appeared both in the convicted and acquitted list of the 761-page decision of Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.  

“Let’s clear it up first with the court,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said when he was asked if Kamaong was one of the convicts transferred to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.

The Quezon City Regional Trial Court on Thursday convicted former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor Zaldy Ampatuan, former Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., and scores of other individuals in connection with the grisly Ampatuan massacre case.  

In a decision where only the dispositive portion was read during the promulgation, 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 were Manny, Mohades, and Misuari Ampatuan, several police officers and other personalities.  

Furthermore, Reyes required the convicts to indemnify the heirs of the victims that included legal interests until they are fully paid.