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Arraignment set on Jan. 21: Law catches up with 2 Maguindanao massacre suspects

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Two accused in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre are set to be arraigned on Tuesday (Jan. 21) following their arrest this month.

Quezon City Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes has already issued an order to have Kagi Faizal and Gambayan Kasim arraigned.

Reyes set the arraignment following the arrest of Faizal and Kasim last January 6 and 9, respectively.

The magistrate has already issued a commitment order which directed that the two be brought to the Quezon City Jail-Annex in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City “for confinement and safekeeping during the pendency of these cases subject to the Orders of this Court.”

The two accused are facing 58 counts of murder for the Nov. 23, 2009 killings in Ampatuan, Maguindanao where 58 persons including 32 members of the media were killed.

Those killed were part of the convoy of then Buluan town vice mayor and now Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu which was on its way for the filing of his certificate of candidacy for the gubernatorial race of Maguindanao.

Last Dec. 19, Reyes issued a decision which convicted 28 principal accused of 57 counts of murder and sentenced them to reclusion perpetua.

Those convicted include the sons of late former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., namely, former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Datu Zaldy Ampatuan, former Datu Unsay Mayor Datu Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan Jr., and former Shariff Aguak Mayor Datu Anwar Ampatuan Sr.

Also convicted but will serve lesser prison years are 15 accused who acted as accessories.

On the other hand, there were 57 persons acquitted including Andal Sr.’s other son, Shariff Saydona Mustapha Mayor Sajid Islam Ampatuan.

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