• Appellate court junks appeal of Ampatuan kin

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    THE Court of Appeals (CA) has junked the appeal made by another Ampatuan clan member tagged in the gruesome killing of 58 individuals, including 30 journalists, in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao on November 23, 2009.

    In a three page resolution penned by Associate Justice Rodil Zalameda of the CA Former Special First Division, it denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Islam Ampatuan questioning the Department of Justice (DOJ) resolutions which found probable cause for charging the petitioner and other respondents with multiple murder.

    Sajid Islam, son of former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., was earlier arraigned for the said crime on August 7, 2013. He, together with four other accused, entered a not-guilty plea before Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.

    The CA opined that it cannot reverse their findings on September 10, 2013 for lack of merit.

    “Wherefore, premises considered, the instant motion for reconsideration is denied. Accordingly, the decision of this court dated 10 September 2013 stands,” it resolved.

    The appeals court pointed out that “a thorough evaluation of the petitioner’s motion reveals no necessity for us to modify or reverse our decision. Petitioner’s arguments in support of his motion are mere rehash of the allegations in his petition which have already been extensively deliberated and passed upon by this Court.”

    Concurring with the decision are Associate Justices Francisco Acosta and Pedro Corales.

    The appellate court, in its decision, pointed out that Sajid Islam “failed to show that the Secretary of Justice committed wanton, whimsical, unfettered and capricious exercise on judgment.”

    In his petition, Sajid Islam insisted that the DOJ committed grave abuse of discretion when it denied his petition for review and motion for reconsideration where he assailed the recommendation to have him indicted. The petitioner also questioned the basis of the DOJ’s resolutions, which is the affidavit of prosecution witnesses Kenny Dalandag and Noh Sapal Akil.

    However, the CA ruled that Sajid Islam’s petition must be dismissed as it has found “no tinge of arbitrariness or capriciousness on the part of the Secretary of Justice” in issuing the assailed resolutions.

    The appellate court also agreed with the secretary of justice “that the defense of alibi raised by petitioner cannot prosper.”

    The CA said that though Sajid Islam may argue that he was in another place, particularly in Shariff Saydona Mustafa, on the day the crime happened, he failed to prove that it was physically impossible for him to be in Barangay Matagabon or Barangay Salman where the convoy of the victims was flagged down.

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