Supreme Court releases guidelines to speed up Ampatuan trial

Posted by ampatuan | Posted in Case Updates | Posted on 11-12-2013

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CMFR/Philippines – The Philippine Supreme Court (SC) released new guidelines on 10 December 2013 to expedite the proceedings of the Ampatuan Massacre trial. The trial started more than three years ago, on 05 January 2010, with 197 originally named as accused.

Fifty-eight people, including 32 journalists and media workers, were killed on 23 November 2009, in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao province, in an incident of election-related violence.

The five new guidelines allows Presiding Judge Jocelyn Reyes to resolve pending motions before her court despite appeals in higher courts, and for an Assisting Judge “to handle the conduct of all non-trial incidents in the (Ampatuan) massacre cases, such as arraignments and pre-trials, as well as to decide incidents and motions that are not intrinsic to the merits of the cases.”

The SC has also allowed for Judicial Affidavits to be submitted instead of witnesses’ directly testifying in court.

The trial has been delayed by some of the accused persons’ appeals before higher courts which, out of “judicial courtesy,”  have compelled Judge Reyes to defer action on  appeals pending before her court.

New guidelines for the Maguindano multiple murder trials by Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility