MANILA, Philippines — The Maguindanao Massacre case verdict will finally be out after a 10-year trial that called 357 witnesses, drew 37 lawyers and loomed over a generation of journalists and rights advocates.
In a Nov. 29 order signed by Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes, the promulgation of judgment was set for Dec. 19, 9 a.m. at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City, where some of the accused are held.
The principal accused in the grisly Nov. 23, 2009, massacre — where 58 people, including 32 media workers, were brutally killed then buried in shallow graves — are brothers Datu Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan Jr., Zaldy Ampatuan and Datu Sajid Islam Ampatuan.
They are among 197 individuals allegedly involved in the carnage at Ampatuan town, Maguindanao province, where a convoy was heading to file the certificate of candidacy of now Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, who was set to run for governor back then.
It remains the world’s single deadliest attack on journalists.
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