Policeman in massacre case pleads for bail

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A POLICE officer implicated in the killing of 58 people, including 34 journalists, has asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court to reconsider its earlier decision denying him the chance to post bail and gain temporary freedom.

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Accused Chief Insp. Sukarno Dicay, former Maguindanao Province deputy police chief, argued that he should be given the chance to post bail because his “presence at a police checkpoint should not be questioned” as it was part of his duties and that the testimony that he was among those who shot and killed the victims remains uncorroborated.

RTC Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes denied Dicay’s plea for bail on November 21, citing “strong evidence of guilt” against him.

Reyes pointed out that the former police official was identified as among those who attended and participated in a meeting on November 16, 2009 at the mansion of Datu Andal Ampatuan, Jr., the main accused in the multiple murder case.

It was allegedly in this meeting that the plan to kill then Vice Governor Esmael Mangudadatu was hatched up.

Mangudadatu had earned the ire of the Ampatuans when he decided to file his certificate of candidacy and run against Andal Ampatuan Jr. for governor.

Several witnesses reportedly mentioned the installation of a checkpoint in Isulan, Cotabato, to stop Mangudadatu from filing his candidacy as among the things discussed in the meeting. Also, Dicay was allegedly seen conducting checkpoint operations in Sitio Malating from November 20, 2009 with other policemen and armed men.

He defended his presence at the checkpoint in Barangay Masalay, saying he was authorized to conduct the checkpoint to maintain peace and order, especially at the time when elections were nearing. Dicay sais his act of stopping the Mangudadatu convoy is not even an issue.

The court already granted bail to 25 lower ranking policemen who were also implicated in the mass killing.

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