Ampatuan furlough a ‘big insult,’ says Maguindanao lawmaker


Posted at Aug 25 2018 10:13 PM

MANILA—The furlough granted to former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor Zaldy Ampatuan is a "big insult" to victims of the "Maguindanao massacre," a lawmaker said Saturday.

Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu, of the second district of Maguindanao, expressed disappointment over the court's decision to allow Ampatuan to attend the wedding of his daughter.

Ampatuan is the principal accused in the Maguindanao massacre that left 58 people dead, including 32 media workers.

"Di namin sukat akalain na i-grant ng court 'yung furlough ni Zaldy Ampatuan. Siyempre nanlumo kami, this is a big insult for us," Mangudadatu told radio DZMM.

(We did not expect the court to grant Zaldy Ampatuan's bid for furlough. We felt down, this is a big insult for us.)

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The lawmaker added that he was dismayed that the families of the victims of the Maguindanao massacre were not informed of the furlough grant.

"Why [did the] court grant the furlough of Zaldy Ampatuan without informing the relatives of the victims of the Maguindanao massacre?" he asked.

Malacañang on Thursday said it was dismayed over the furlough grant as well.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque also assured that the government will seek full accountability for the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.

Ampatuan was briefly allowed by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 to attend his daughter's wedding last Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The former ARMM governor, his father and clan patriarch then-Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan, Sr., and brother Andal Jr., are among the principal accused. Andal Sr. died while in detention in June 2015. 

The Ampatuans are accused of masterminding the mass murder to derail the gubernatorial bid of Esmael Mangudadatu in the 2010 elections.

"We pray na matapos na itong sa Maguindanao massacre at na maka-issue na ng resolution ang korte," Mangudadatu said. 

(We pray that the case of Maguindanao massacre will be resolved soon by the court.)