• Lawyer for massacre prime suspect quits

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    A legal counsel has withdrawn his services as lawyer for Andal Ampatuan Jr., the prime suspect in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.

    Salvador Panelo informed Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes that he was quitting by submitting a two-page withdrawal of appearance as counsel de parte during  a hearing on a bail petition of Ampatuan Jr. late Thursday at Quezon City Jail Annex, Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City (Metro Manila).

    Before submitting the withdrawal, however, reports said  Panelo had requested the court to give him additional trial dates for the bail petition of Ampatuan Jr. but the judge junked the request,  reminding him of an earlier agreement that the trial dates for the redirect of the accused will only be on December 10 and 17, 2015.

    He then formally submitted immediately his prepared withdrawal of appearance, citing no reason for his decision.

    The judge informed the parties that the withdrawal of appearance of Panelo is deemed submitted for resolution.

    She also informed the defense that because of Panelo’s withdrawal, there might be another possible delay in the  proceedings.

    The judge ordered the continuation of Ampatuan’s bail petition hearing on December 10.

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