A Quezon City court on Wednesday junked the plea for bail filed by former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor Zaldy Ampatuan, one of the principal accused in the Maguindanao massacre case.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 denied Ampatuan’s petition for bail.
Zaldy’s father, former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan, another principal accused, died while in prison.
De Lima said the court’s decision proves that the case against the Ampatuans is strong.
“I have never doubted for a single moment the strength of the evidence of the State against the principal accused in the Maguindanao massacre case. The denial of the bail petition of Zaldy Ampatuan only shows that the focus of the DOJ prosecution team on this case is unwavering,” she said in a text message.
Members of the Ampatuan clan were accused of masterminding the carnage in Ampatuan town that left 58 people dead, 32 of them journalists.
On November 23, 2009 about 100 gunmen, allegedly led by Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., opened fire on the convoy of Genalyn Mangudadatu, wife of then Buluan mayor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu. Genalyn was on her way to file her husband’s certificate of candidacy for governor.