Mangudadatu kin 'hoping, praying' for guilty verdict

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

A FEW hours before the promulgation of judgment on the 2009 Maguindanao massacre Thursday, December 19, Maguindanao 2nd District Representative Esmael Mangudadatu said his family and relatives of other victims are “hoping and praying” for a favorable decision by the court.

“Itong mga mga ebidensya na ito na ipinresinta itong mga salaysay na ito ng mga witnesses, talagang positibo tayo na talagang makuha natin (na guilty ang makuha nating conviction),” he said in an interview with reporters before proceeding inside the court.

“Nagkakaisa kami (pamilya ng mga victims) ng panalangin na ay makuha naman ang guilty verdict...Kung may death penalty, dapat death penalty. Dapat bitay sa kanila para hindi na sila pamarisan ,” he added.

He said he was in favor of reading the entire decision on the court.

“Dapat lang basahin kasi baka mamaya may magcomplain dyan. (Okay lang abutin ng 15 hours) Sa isang dekadang hinintay natin 15 hours is enough,” he said.

Judge Jocelyn Solis Reyes of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 is set to hand down her decision on the November 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre which killed 58 people including 32 media workers.

A total of 197 people were charged with multiple murder charges including 15 members of the Ampatuan clan, namely, Datu Unsay Ampatuan Sr., and his sons Zaldy, Datu Sajid Islam and Datu Unsay Jr. who were accused of masterminding the carnage.

Of the accused, 80 were detained including Zaldy, eight have died during the decade-long trial including the family patriarch, 11 were released on bail including Datu Sajid while 80 others remain at large. (SunStar Philippines)