While RTC Quezon City Jude Jocelyn Solis-Reyes is taking a two-week vacation, let us refresh ourselves as to the updates in the ongoing Ampatuan Massacre Trial.

          To remember the brutal massacre, watch these videos:


 From Dyaryo Magdalo, here is its story:

The day the ‘untouchables’ died


            The day the “untouchables” died on November 23, 2009 in the town of Ampatuan, the world substantially changed in the minds of Muslims and Christians in the provinces of Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Saranggani, Lanao del Sur, Davao del Sur, and elsewhere in the Philippines.
            Before going further, let it be made clear that there is no intention of trying to influence the ongoing “Ampatuan Massacre Trial.”

Some of the 33 journalists brutally killed in the town of Ampatuan, Maguindanao on November 23, 2009.

            The first benefit that Filipinos got from it is the inculcation of a new general idea in the minds of Christian Filipinos in so far as Muslim Filipinos are concerned, and in the minds of Muslim Filipinos in so far as Christian Filipinos are concerned.
            This general idea is this: both Christian and Muslim Filipinos can be united in a cause for justice against criminals who belong to their tribes.
            Yes, the passion for justice was bolstered in unison among the Muslims not allied with the Ampatuans and the Christians whose hearts were revolting to the most brutal-ever act of political violence.
            But along with this discovery of the substantive meaning of justice came the realization of one more equally-important reality, that those who used brutalities in murdering are in effect killing themselves, too.
            The 33 media persons massacred on that most brutal episode in the life of the Filipino journalist were some of the “untouchables” who died.
            But on the very same day they died another group of “untouchables” also died, the “untouchable” Ampatuans.
            The honor, career and everything the Ampatuan Empire so cherished also died. It was killed by the 33 persons they killed, the journalists. 
Henceforth, it cannot be fathomed how they can get back their crown now being held by the husband of one of the women they killed.  They can never win anymore in any gubernatorial election.
            The brutal lesson here is BRUTALITY BACKFIRES IN A MORE BRUTAL WAY.
            It is premised then that if the hands of time are turned back and the Ampatuans who are being pointed to as the murderers are made to choose between two choices, to kill brutally or be killed brutally, they will choose the latter.
            Thus, the “kingdom” collapsed when the 33 journalists were killed without mercy.
            This is also what is seen by the eyes of a husband of one of those who perished in the infamous Maguindanao massacre.
Policeman Elliver Cablitas, the husband of Mindanao Focus columnist Maritess Cablitas who was among those killed there, is so sure that if only his wife and other reporters were not killed, the Ampatuans could have been still there lording over all in sight. 
In his words, even if the entire population of a barangay of Mangudadatu families were killed, it will only go to oblivion and the Ampatuans would still remain the kings—of nothingness.

Toto Mangudadatu and wife Bai Eden during happier times

            With tears speaking, Elliver premised that if there was one good thing that happened with the death of his wife, it was that these martyrs also gave death to another group of “untouchables,” the Ampatuans.
            And if there was another thing that is a priceless reward, it is the priceless freedom now enjoyed by the Maguindanaoans, many of whom were said to have been murdered by means of cutting bodies in half with the use of chainsaws in full view in public plazas to give lessons to those who may have thoughts of fighting the clan.
So proud of his wife, Elliver told Dr. Anacleto “Toto” B. Millendez, founder of Beautiful Heart Foundation, Inc., that his belief is also the belief of another “Toto”, who is now Maguindanao Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu.

Gallery of photos of some of the victims of the massacre
Elliver recalled that Toto Mangudadatu was convinced that no one would touch the journalists because they have been “untouchables” in Maguindanao,  Mangudadatu invited them to accompany his men, his wife, and his two sisters in filing his certificate of candidacy for governor of Maguindanao on November 23, 2009.
But they were wrong. 
The convoy were blocked on their way to Shariff Aguak, forcibly brought to a remote place that no one would ever come, killed like shooting targets of chicken with some heads blowing out, and buried in the most despicable way.
A backhoe marked with letterings “Province of Maguindanao, Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr.” lifted the cadavers from where they slumped, poured them on two excavations obviously prepared prior the abduction at the checkpoint, and covered the bodies and their vehicles with the soil dug out from the same holes.   For every layer of landfill, the backhoe compacted the filling so that the vehicles would be flattened.
Elliver, however, slightly blamed Mangudadatu for the death of his wife and 57 others.
But he now chose to thank the high heaven for without the brutal event, the killings in Maguindanao will never end.
The most feared warlords of Maguindanao, Andal Ampatuan Sr., Zaldy Ampatuan and Andal Ampatuan Jr., were pointed to as brains of the massacre.
The Ampatuan clan has been pointed to countless of killings in Maguidanao for the last 20 years.
Dayunyur Ampatuan behind bars

Andal Sr. and Zaldy, all Ampatuans

He said the Ampatuans style of governance dubbed “Own the People” is now a history.
And the gravest concern of Elliver now is the fact that the literal meaning of justice will never come to him and his family even after ten (10) years, pointing out the snail system in the country like the countless motions filed by the lawyers of the Ampatuans.  As this was written, the judge handling the case, Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes took a two-week vacation.
If there is one more thing, this is an argument in favor jury system of justice being advocated by Hukuman ng Mamamayan Movement, Inc. (HMMI) being led by Berteni Toto Cataluña Causing.

            From Philippine Star, here is its latest news.

Judge takes two-week break from Ampatuan trial

By Perseus Echeminada The Philippine Star Updated September 11, 2011 12:00 AM 2 comments to this post

MANILA, Philippines - The Ampatuan massacre trial will be suspended for two weeks next week after the judge hearing the case filed for vacation leave to avail herself of the benefit under the Magna Carta for Women.

Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 announced in open court Wednesday that she will be taking a two-week leave and the trial will be suspended starting Sept. 14.

A prosecutor said if Reyes does not avail of the benefit, it will be forfeited.

During Wednesday’s hearing at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, the cross-examination of prosecution witness Haikal Mangacop was stalled after he said he was having a hard time comprehending the question posed to him by defense lawyers.

The question deals with Mangacop’s account of the few hours before the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre took place.

Defense lawyers accused Mangacop of being selective in answering their question but prosecution lawyers said the problem is the language barrier between the witness and court-appointed interpreter Tenex Rachman, a linguist from the University of the Philippines.

Though both are natives of Maguindanao, the interpreter spoke “classic” Maguindanaon while Mangacop is conversant in the language’s “common” form, prosecutors said.

Solis-Reyes then granted the prosecution’s motion to present another witness, Norodin Macauyag, a farmer who saw armed men roaming the outskirts of Ampatuan town a day before the massacre.

He identified three of the more than 60 suspects who were brought into the courtroom under heavy security.

Among those Macauyag said he saw in Ampatuan town were Chief Inspector Sukarno Dikay, the deputy police superintendent of Maguindanao, and two militiamen, Tayag and Salik Bungkala.

Dikay tried to hide his face behind a post but the witness saw him and pointed to him as among the armed men who were waiting for the convoy led by the wife of then Buluan vice mayor Esmael Mangudadatu, who was supposed to file her husband’s certificate of candidacy for the Maguindanao gubernatorial race.

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