The Supreme Court (SC) has extended the promulgation of judgment in the Maguindanao massacre, also known as the Ampatuan massacre, after the judge handling the case requested for it.
On Friday, Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta told reporters that the court reviewed a huge amount of evidence and parties in giving Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes a month of extension, or until December, to give the final verdict to the Maguindanao massacre case.
“In the case of Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes… we allowed her to have an extension of one month but as I said motions for extension are the exception rather than the rule and we understand her plight and I hope that she will no longer ask for another extension so that before the end of the year those cases will finally be decided,” Peralta said.
According to the Constitution, all trial courts should declare their judgment in 90 days or 3 months after the case has been filed for decision.
10th anniversary of Maguindanao massacre
On August 22, the Maguindanao massacre case has been submitted, meaning, this is scheduled for promulgation on November 20, three days prior to the 10th anniversary of the brutal killings.
“I am frustrated of what happened to the victims but I think Judge Reyes did her best in order to give justice to the victims and also in order to afford the accused the required due process of law under the constitution,” Peralta said.
Maguindanao massacre is considered the world’s worst attack on journalists in just a single day and by far the worst case related to election in the Philippine history.
This has caused the death of 58 individuals, of which 32 were journalists and media staff who convoyed to the camp of Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, who sent his wife and supporters to file his candidacy for governor against political foe Andal Ampatuan Jr.
Meanwhile, One of the private prosecutors in the case, Atty. Nena Santos, said the extension is not an issue.
“We have waited for 10 years. The 30 days is a short time to wait,” she said.