(Updated) Events in the Multiple Murder Case against the Ampatuans for the November 23 Maguindanao massacre





YEAR 2009

November 26

Datu Andal “Unsay” U. Ampatuan Jr. undergoes Inquest proceedings at the Gen. Santos City airport before being transported to Manila.

December 1

The Department of Justice special prosecution panel led by Senior State Prosecutor Leo Dacera III files the first batch of Information (twenty-five cases) for Multiple Murder against Unsay Ampatuan before Cotabato RTC Branch 15.

The Supreme Court assigns Tacurong RTC judge Melanio Guerrero as special judge to handle the case in Cotabato City.

December 3

The DOJ panel asks the Supreme Court to transfer the venue of the case to a court in Metro Manila. The Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines also request the same on December 7.

Accused Unsay files a petition for bail before the Cotabato City RTC.  On December 4, Judge Guerrero holds in abeyance the hearing on the petition pending an SC resolution on the petition for transfer of venue filed by the prosecution.

December 7

DOJ panel files opposition to Unsay’s petition for bail.

December 8

Sitting en banc, the Supreme Court grants the petition for  change of venue. The prosecution learns of the decision on December 10.

December 9

Additional 15 Informations are filed before the RTC of Cotabato City.

December 18

DOJ Panel headed by Senior State Prosecutor Roseanne Balauag holds the first hearing in the preliminary investigation on two new complaints naming other possible respondents (still including Unsay) filed separately by the CIDG and NBI.

December 21

Additional 16 Informations are filed before the RTC in Quezon City Branch 221. This brings to 56 the total counts of murder filed against Unsay.

*Please note that the murder case for UNTV anchor Victor Nuñez has yet to be filed. The delay came from the dispute over the identities of some remains of the Maguindanao massacre victims.

The body of Midland Review photographer Reynaldo “Bebot” Momay has yet to be found.

December 28

The second hearing in the preliminary investigation is held.

YEAR 2010

January 5

Unsay is arraigned for 41 counts of murder, to all of which he pleads “not guilty.”

The second batch (filed on December 9) are still with RTC Cotabato, pending an SC resolution stating the 15 Informations filed on Dec. 9 are included among those transferred to the QC RTC.

The RTC also hears Unsay’s petition for bail. The first prosecution witness for the bail proceedings is Atty. Ricardo Diaz of the NBI.

Lawyer Herminio Harry Roque files in behalf of his clients a motion to transfer Unsay from the NBI detention center to the Quezon City Jail. The public prosecutors did not agree with it,  as required by the rules of court.

January 13

The prosecution presents Ampatuan town vice-mayor Rasul Sangki, who allegedly saw Unsay Ampatuan order and lead the killing of at least 57 people on November 23, 2009. He testifies that he was  called to Barangay Masalay by Unsay Ampatuan to participate in the killings.

He is the first prosecution witness to testify on Unsay Ampatuan’s presence at the massacre site.

January 18

Private prosecutors Nena Santos and Prima Jesusa Quinsayas, with the agreement of public prosecutor Al Calica, file a motion before the RTC Cotabato City Br 15 asking the same to transmit court records of the 15 Informations for consolidation with the 41 being heard before the RTC Quezon City Br 221

January 20

The prosecution presents the videographer who took footage of the retrieval of the corpses and vehicles on November 24 and 25, 2009.

January 27

The prosecution presents Mohammad Sangki, uncle of vice mayor Rasul Sangki. Mohammad’s testimony corroborates Rasul Sangki’s claim that Unsay was among those who massacred the members of the Mangudadatu convoy including 32 media workers.

The prosecution presents representatives from Smart and Globe telecommunications to verify the time and date of the calls allegedly made by Bai Genalin “Gigi” Mangudadatu to Esmael Mangudadatu when the former’s convoy was blocked by Unsay and armed men.

The prosecution presents Buluan town vice-mayor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu. He testifies on the political history of the Ampatuan and Magudadatu clans, and on the motive for the massacre.

February 3

Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes announces receipt of the 15 Informations from the Cotabato RTC. Accused Unsay is arraigned for the same, to all of which he pleaded “not guilty.”

The presentation of Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu continues.

The prosecution presents Dr. Ricardo Rodaje, the NBI medico-legal officer who examined the remains of Bai Genalin “Gigi” Mangudadatu.

February 9

The DOJ Manila special panel of prosecutors handling the additional NBI and CIDG complaints on the Maguindanao massacre files Amended Information for multiple murder against Unsay and 196 perpetrators including his father Andal Ampatuan Sr.

February 10

The bail proceedings are suspended and will continue on February 24, in light of the filing by the DOJ panel of the amended Information naming 196 other accused. The deferment was requested by the defense.

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