Ampatuans will benefit from prosecutors' rift: lawyer

by Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2014 07:28 PM | Updated as of Aug 05 2014 08:31 AM

MANILA - One of the private prosecutors in the Maguindanao massacre case warned that the accused may eventually end up as the beneficiaries in the row between 2 private prosecutors and the government prosecutors.

Lawyer Harry Roque said the Ampatuans will most likely benefit in the clashes between government and lawyers Nena Santos and Prima Jesusa Quinsayas.

Santos and Quinsayas earlier slammed the government prosecutors’ move to rest its case against Andal Ampatuan Jr. and 27 others last week. Santos and Quinsayas said the action would hamper the presentation of more evidence.

Santos represents Maguindanao Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, whose wife was among those killed in the massacre, and 26 other complainants.

Quinsayas, on the other hand, represents the families of 17 victims.

Roque represents the families of the journalists killed in the massacre.

Cong. Zajid Mangudadatu of 2nd District of Maguindanao, brother of one of the victims, also warned that if the private and government prosecutors will not be able to settle their differences, he will be compelled to file a resolution before the House Committee on Justice to have an inquiry on the matter.

Mangudadatu believes that the friction could have been avoided if Undersecretary Francisco Baraan was prudent enough to have avoided the meeting with Atty. Sigfrid Fortun, lawyer of the accused.

Malacanang believes the prosecutors should resolve the matter among themselves.

Secretary Edwin Lacierda said they will leave it to Secretary Leila de Lima to talk to the private and government prosecutors.