MANILA: The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday ordered 14 more members of the Ampatuan clan to explain their participation in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.
The massacre claimed the lives of 58 civilians, including 15 women and 32 media practitioners in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao on Nov. 23, 2009.
During Tuesday’s preliminary investigation, the DOJ’s panel of investigators, led by Assistant State Prosecutor Niven Canlapan, gave the new sets of respondents up to April 16, 2015 within which to submit their respective counter-affidavits.
The 14 respondents are facing a complaint for 58 counts of murder for the death of 32 journalists and 26 others on Nov. 23, 2009 which included Genalyn Mangudadatu, wife of Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, his sister Eden, cousin Rowena and auntie Manguba, respectively.
Gov. Mangudadatu, who appeared before the DOJ on Tuesday to affirm the complaint, said that the new batch of respondents will not affect the 58 counts of murder already pending before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 221.
Named respondents in the “second wave” complaint, which were attested by 43 heirs of the 58 massacre fatalities, were former Solicitor General of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and current City Administrator of Cotabato City Cynthia Guiani Sayadi; Mamasapano, Maguindanao Mayor Benzar Ampatuan; Jack Ampatuan Lumenda; Sukarto “Manguten/Teng” Singh; one Inspector Mariga of the Maguindanao police; Samer “Mama” Uy; Samsudin Ampatuan; Kage Ali Midtimbang; Kage Melo Lumenda; Farid Adas; Nanun Ampatuan; Pandag Ampatuan; Amerah Ampatuan Mamalapat; Rebecca Ampatuan; Reshal Santiago Ampatuan; Dali “Kumander Boy” Kamendan; Sahara Upam Ampatuan; Rowel Santiago; Kempar Silongan; Kamsa “Kudta” Salik; Sangutin Musa; Daud “Kumander Kwatro” Kamendan; Digo Mamalapat; Monir Asim, Sr.; Monng Ampatuan Asim; Harris Ampatuan Macapendeg; Kuka Ebos; Mautin Upam; Tamano “Barakuda” Sabpa; Borgo “Rey” Kasan, Salahudin “Tho” Uday; Hashim;
“Mistro” Esmael; Joel Tatak, Rene Upam; Kaking Inggo; a certain policeman Biton; Allandatu Angas; Roger Mamalo; Jainodin “Zainodin” Abutazil; Manak Malaguial; Kabili Sumagkang; Ben Carandang; Kage Sabog; Abusama Simpal; Kamad Ampatuan; Faizal Ampatuan; Kudzbari L. Ampatuan; Kumander Ukay Simpal; and several other John Does and Jane Does.
“The new case will not cause a delay in the on-going trial of the first batch of the Maguindanao massacre case filed before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC),” Mangudadatu told reporters in an interview after the preliminary investigation.
Mangudadatu said that the complaint was based on testimonies of witnesses during the trial as well as testimonies of new witnesses.
“It took time because we need to collate the testimonies of the witnesses and sort it out before we file this second wave of complaint,” he added.
There are currently a total of 196 accused in the Maguindanao massacre case, including the head of the Ampatuan clan Datu Andal Ampatuan, Sr., sons Datu Zaldy “Puti” Ampatuan, Datu Akmad Ampatuan, Sr., Anwar Ampatuan (husband of Sahara Ampatuan) and Sajid Ampatuan.
Sajid Ampatuan was recently released on an Php11.6-million bail.