• Another massacre suspect to be arraigned

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    The Quezon City judge handling the “Maguindanao Massacre’’ case has ordered the arraignment of one of the accused who claimed to be mistakenly arrested.

    Judge Jocelyn Solis Reyes of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 said there was no more legal impediment to the said proceedings.

    In a three-page order, Solis-Reyes set the arraignment of accused Talembo Masukat alias Talembo Kahar Abdulrahman on April 10 at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig.

    The order was issued after Solis Reyes granted the prosecution panel’s reiterative motion to arraign the accused as the pleadings were impressed with merit.

    The prosecution filed the reiterative motion seeking for the arraignment of Masukat since the Supreme Court First Division denied on January 13, 2014 the accused’s petition for review on certiorari with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or writ of preliminary injunction.

    The prosecution stressed that in view of the High Court’s resolution there was no more legal impediment to the arraignment of accused Masukat.

    Through his legal counsel, Andres Manuel Jr., the accused claimed that the prosecution’s appeal was still premature since the high tribunal’s decision is not yet final and executory.

    The accused filed the petition asking the high tribunal to stop his arraignment as he was seeking then to order Solis Reyes to recognize the ruling of a Cotabato judge who said he was not the person charged with the massacre.

    But Solis-Reyes ruled that the court could not take judicial notice of the Cotabato City judge’s ruling in view of an earlier resolution of the Court of Appeals on the case of another Maguindanao massacre suspect, Butukan Malang.

    The development prompted the accused to appeal his case before the SC.

    In granting the prosecution’s motion, Solis Reyes explained that with the issuance of the high tribunal’s resolution denying Masukat’s appeal for TRO, the court was of the view that no cogent reason existed to await the resolution of the motion for reconsideration supposed to have been filed by the accused.

    “To the mind of the court, regardless of the subsequent final disposition of the high tribunal on accused main petition, including the resolution of his intended motion for reconsideration, it it crystal clear that the Supreme Court prefatorily refused to grant him the provisional, ancillary and extraordinary remedy of a TRO,” the order read.

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