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The Department of Justice (DOJ) has been asked to re-do the preliminary investigation of the multiple murder complaint against 48 persons whose names are being sought included in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre case.

Lawyer Nena Santos, legal counsel of the families of the victims, made the appeal in a motion she filed before the DOJ dated Nov. 10.

Santos filed the motion in response to the August 28, 2019 resolution of a panel of prosecutors who found probable cause to indict only eight out of the 48 respondents for multiple murder charges.

Since she just received the resolution just last Oct. 27, the lawyer also asked the DOJ to have the prosecutors inhibited and form a new set of prosecutors who will re-do the preliminary investigation.

“This is extremely irregular and mind-boggling. More so, for the reason that there were several follow ups made by herein complainant-movants, the latest of which was through a Motion to Resolve the case, dated June 11, 2020,” she explained.

In her motion, Santos pointed out “several witnesses positively identified the abovementioned respondents, to have participated in the meetings which strategized, organized and planned the subject murders.”

“Precisely, there is no other cogent reason for the said respondents to be at the meeting, except to offer their ideas, lend their moral aid or support or to overall facilitate the commission of the Mulltiple Murders,” she said.

She reminded that “the respondents, never attempted to stop the murders, the latter never attempted to dissaude any of their co-conspirators to desist from proceeding with the heartless Murders.”

“Neither did the respondents warn any of the victims nor their families, as they had ample time to do so,” she said.

“Lastly, after the brutal killings, herein respondents, never reported to the proper law enforcement authorities, what had transpired or who was involved thereof, of which they evidently had knowledge of. Some, if not all of the afore-cited respondents even planned and participated in the attempted cover-up, of the subject multiple murders,” Santos argued.

Last December, a Quezon City court promulgated a decision in the Maguindanao massacre case and convicted 28 principal accused for 57 counts of murder and sentenced 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.

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