A man mistakenly arrested as one of the suspects in the Nov. 23, 2009 “Maguindanao Massacre’’ carnage was given his freedom yesterday by a Quezon City court.
In a five-page order released yesterday, Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes instructed the jail warden of the Quezon City Jail-Annex in Camp Bagong Diwa to release Jun Aliman, the accused previously identified as Sahid Guiamadel.
Solis-Reyes said reasonable doubt clouded the inference that Aliman was the same person as Guiamadel.
Guiamadel was among those charged with 58 counts of murder in connection with the “Maguindanao Massacre’’ incident.
The order for the release of Aliman, who was arrested on Dec. 14, 2011 in Kidapawan City , came months after the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) came up with a report saying his arrest was a case of mistaken identity.
“Given the probative value of the undisputed evidence on record emanating from the CIDG officer who at this instance, regularly performed their duties, and who admitted that concerned CIDG personnel erred in effecting the arrest, the court so concludes that the movant (Aliman) is not the accused Guiamadel,” read the order.
In a letter to Solis-Reyes in Nov. 2013, then CIDG director Francisco Uyami said the real Guiamadel was in fact Arnel Abdullah, who was separately arrested for illegal possession of firearms in Sultan Kudarat on Feb. 22, 2012.
Solis-Reyes directed the issuance of an arrest warrant for Abdullah, who is currently detained at the Sultan Kudarat provincial jail.
The investigation of the CIDG showed that the police officer who arrested Aliman was purposely misled by a certain Utto that he was the suspect charged for the massacre.
Supt. Benjamin Silo, acting chief of the CIDG investigation division, said arresting officer PO3 Edgar Dingcong of the PNP Region 12 admitted that he was “fooled by his informant, who had personal interests and motives against Jun P. Aliman.”
The prosecution panel said the lack of coordination between different agencies resulted in the arrest of a person who was not the real accused.
“While we commend their zeal in bringing the perpetrators of these hideous crimes to justice, we lament an apparent lack of coordination between the different entities tasked to effect the warrants for those accused who are still at large,” the prosecutors said.
Earlier, police also arrested Dexson Saptula, alias Mohammad Adam, only to find out that another Saptula, alias Rene Matuti, was already arrested and arraigned for the massacre.
The issue is currently up for resolution before the court.