QC court hears motions on Maguindanao massacre ruling

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 06 2020 07:33 PM | Updated as of Jan 06 2020 09:46 PM

In this handout photo taken on December 19, 2019 and released by the Supreme Court - Public Information Office (SC-PIO), a group of the accused in the Maguindanao massacre are escorted to the trial venue, inside a prison facility in Manila. Handout / SUPREME COURT-PIO / AFP

QUEZON CITY (UPDATE) – The court which rendered the verdict in the Maguindanao massacre murder cases heard on Monday afternoon various motions seeking clarification of the December 19, 2019 ruling.

These include the motion filed by ex-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Zaldy Ampatuan to be moved from his detention cell to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) infirmary citing poor health, and a motion filed by Police Colonel Bahnarin Kamaong asking for his immediate release.

Kamaong was the cop who was both convicted and acquitted of murder for the death of 57 persons in the body and the dispositive portion of the ruling of Quezon City Regional Trial Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.
 
Kamaong’s lawyer filed an urgent motion for his immediate release citing his acquittal, but State Prosecutor Moises Acayan noted that in another portion of the ruling, he was actually convicted.

Acayan also pointed out that Kamaong had also filed a habeas corpus petition before the Court of Appeals aside from filing a notice of appeal which indicates not only forum shopping but also Kamaong’s abandoning his claim of acquittal.

A writ of habeas corpus is a remedy against unlawful detention while forum shopping is a rule prohibiting a party from seeking similar remedies in different forums.

Private prosecutor Nena Santos, on the other hand, said that it could have been another accused, SPO2 Badawi Bakal, who was manning the Ampatuan municipal police station, who was actually acquitted, not Kamaong.

The prosecution was given 3 days to comment on both motions.

Prosecutors were also given another 10 days to comment on the motion for reconsideration filed by Anwar Ampatuan Sr. and his sons Datu Ipi and Datu Ulo over their murder conviction.

Solis-Reyes said she is inclined to issue a joint order clarifying all other issues that needed clarification, including the request of the family of Faridah Sabdullah that their names and the damages awarded to them be included in the dispositive portion of the ruling.

Another hearing is set on Friday, January 10, on issues raised by other parties, including clarification from accused Rakim Amil who, along with Bakal, were 2 of 4 accused who did not receive any verdict.

Also for hearing on Friday is a motion for partial reconsideration of a private complainant seeking a bigger award of damages and a motion for reconsideration by accused Jonathan Engid who was convicted as principal for murder.

A motion to lift warrant of arrest filed by PInsp. Michael Joy Macaraeg was supposed to be heard on Friday but on Monday, Macaraeg showed up in court without any lawyer to explain why he was absent during the release of the verdict in December last year.

He told ABS-CBN News he figured in an accident.
 
Because of his absence, Macaraeg was ordered arrested. He had been granted bail during the trial.

Macaraeg was one of 15 accused convicted as accessory to murder for not doing anything to prevent the abduction of the victims which ended in the massacre.

He was sentenced to up to 10 years and 8 months in prison. His bail would have been valid pending appeal had he been present during the promulgation.

The court also gave the prosecution 3 days to comment on Macaraeg’s motion.