MAGUINDANAO Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu yesterday expressed relief with the recent junking of Maguindanao massacre prime suspect Datu Andal ‘Unsay’ Ampatuan Jr.’s motion to reopen the trial of what is said to be the world’s single-deadliest attack on journalists in history.
In a recent order issued by Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221, she denied for lack of merit Datu Unsay’s motion to reopen the trial along with its motion to suspend promulgation of judgment on the case.
“I am relieved with the junking of the motion. We have been patiently waiting for the verdict. It has been 10 long, debilitating years but we remain optimistic that justice will be ours. Hindi madali para sa aming mga nawalan ng mahal sa buhay ang maghintay nang ganito katagal. At some point, some of us have lost faith that we will ever see justice. But God has been good in making us realize that the wait will be all worth it,” said Mangudadatu.
Last August, the Department of Justice announced that verdict will be rendered before the 10th anniversary of the infamous massacre after the prosecution panel has presented more than sufficient evidence to warrant a conviction, at least against the principal accused in the case.
However, just this month, Datu Unsay, through his lawyer Paul Laguata, filed a motion claiming that the prosecution’s primary witness, former Vice Mayor Sakurno Badal, has supposedly sent fillers to Datu Unsay’s camp allegedly expressing his willingness to recant his testimony.