Court blocks massacre witness' testimony

By Ces Drilon, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 31 2012 03:55 PM | Updated as of Nov 01 2012 07:03 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Maguindanao massacre hearing at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court adjourned with the defense successfully blocking the testimony of a prosecution witness.

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) videographer Edgar Panlaqui was set to testify on the text messages extracted from the cell phone of massacre victim, lawyer Cynthia Oquendo Ayon.

The defense insisted Panlaqui's name was not listed on the prosecution's list of witnesses earlier given to the court.

For its part, the prosecution decried the delays in the presentation of their witnesses.

Nena Santos, counsel for Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu petitioned the court for the conditional approval of their witnesses’ testimony pending a decision on the opposition by the defense.

The prosecution is worried their key witnesses and their families may be harassed while the court is studying the defense petitions.

One of the key witnesses who has yet to testify is Kenny Dalagdag, a former militiaman of former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. who surrendered to authorities days after the massacre.