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SC grants QC judge’s plea for extension to decide on Maguindanao massacre case

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The Supreme Court (SC) has granted the request of Quezon City Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes for more time before making a ruling over the 2009 Maguindanao massacre case.

“This Office finds the ground for your request reasonable and hereby grants the same,” read the letter of Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez addressed to Reyes.

“Please be reminded however, that you are hereby granted a non-extendible period of thirty days from 20 November 2019, or until 20 December 2019, within which to decide the said criminal cases,” he instructed.

In her letter to Marquez, Reyes sought the extension due to the voluminous records she has to deal with including 165 volumes of records of proceedings, 65 volumes of transcripts of stenographic notes, and eight volumes of the prosecution’s documentary evidence.

The case was submitted for decision last August 22 following the end of the trial.

“Under the Constitution, it provides that all trial courts, that means the first and second level courts, should promulgate their decision within the 90 day period,” Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said on Friday (Nov. 8).

The case concerns the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao where were 58 persons killed including 32 members of the media.

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

Among the 197 suspects, the principal accused include late Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his two sons including Andal Ampatuan Jr. And former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor Zaldy Ampatuan .

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