Mangudadatu expects massacre conviction before 2016
COTABATO CITY – Maguindanao Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu is confident that the gruesome massacre of his wife, relatives, associates and journalists almost four years ago will be resolved with the conviction of suspects before 2016.
Mangudadatu aired his optimism as he took the witness stand again on Thursday’s case trial inside the Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City.
“We have faith in the current administration and we believe that before 2016 there will already be verdict,” said the governor.
He appealed to Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 221 Presiding Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes to expedite the trial of the case involving key members of the influential Ampatuan clan. But Mangudadatu quicky added he understood the delay in the trial due to the huge number of accused in the carnage.
In taking the stand, Mangudadatu also told the court that the accused, led by former governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his sons former Muslim Mindanao Governor Zaldy and former Mayor Andal Jr., did not offer him or their family any message of condolence in the aftermath of the massacre.
He said it was “unusual” since the Mangudadatu and Ampatuans are relatives and very close to each other.
Last Wednesday, journalists covering the four-day Maguindanao strategic planning workshop in Davao City saw Rajah Buayan town Mayor Zamzamin Ampatuan and Gov. Mangudadatu embracing and airing a common optimism for the reign of meaningful peace and growth in the province.
The Nov. 23, 2009 massacre killed 58 people, 32 of them journalists.