Massacre trial could go faster, says Palace

By Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Nov 01 2012 02:02 PM | Updated as of Nov 02 2012 05:21 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Proceedings at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court on the Maguindanao massacre case could still go faster, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

“In general, there are observations that it could go faster…but it still depends on the Supreme Court, who has jurisdiction over courts,” she told radio dzRB.

The country will commemorate the third year anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre on November 23. The victims now number 58 after the Department of Justice amended its charge sheet against the respondents, led by former Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr.

It was only last September that the DoJ recognized photojournalist Reynaldo Geneblaza Momay as the 58th victim, based on his dentures found at the scene of the crime.

Besides Ampatuan, his father and namesake and other members of the family, nearly 200 has been named as respondents.

Branch 221 of the trial court has been tasked by then Chief Justice Reynato Puno to specifically handle this case in order that proceedings can be hastened.

“On the part of President [Benigno Aquino III], he already told prosecutors to avoid delays…to ward off any dilatory tactics [from the defense counsels],” Valte said.

The prosecution has yet to present more witnesses.