The Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld the dismissal made by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) on the motion of the prosecution to turn the three accused in the Maguindanao massacre case as state witnesses.
The massacre claimed the lives of 58 civilians, including 15 women and 32 media practitioners in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao on Nov. 23, 2009.
In a 22-page ruling written by Associate Justice Melchor Sadang, the CA’s Special 13th Division denied the petition filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) against the omnibus orders issued by Quezon City RTC Branch 221 Presiding Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes on July 29, 2011 and Nov. 10, 2011, respectively.
The CA said no “grave abuse of discretion” was committed when Solis dismissed the petition to turn as state witness in the case Mohammad Sangki, Police Insp. Rex Ariel Diongon and PO1 Rainer Ebus, respectively.
In the ruling of the Quezon City RTC, it said that there was no “absolute necessity” for the testimony of the three accused because they contain merely “corroborative” and the other accused they will pin down in the crime have not yet been arrested.
Because of this, the CA said that Solis merely decided based on the testimonial evidence submitted in court.
Likewise, the CA also ordered the Quezon City RTC to proceed with the presentation of evidence in connection with the second motion seeking to turn Diongon as state witness and resolve it the soonest possible time. PNA