IFJ Welcomes Arraignment of Key Philippines Massacre Suspects

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes the announcement of the arraignment of

Andal Ampatuan Sr., one of the main suspects in the Ampatuan Town Massacre of

58 people, including 32 journalists, on November 23, 2009.


Quezon City District Court Judge Jocelyn

Solis Reyes announced the June 1 arraignment of Ampatuan and nine other

suspects on May 27, IFJ affiliate the National Union

of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)

reports. The announcement comes after lawyers representing Ampatuan, a former

governor of southern Philippine province Maguindanao, filed a motion on May 18

seeking his arraignment.


However, the IFJ shares concerns

expressed by the NUJP that another

21 suspects are yet to be arraigned, including five other members of the

Ampatuan clan, who are accused of plotting the massacre.


The scheduling of their arraignment

is dependent on the outcome of a motion which seeks to exclude them from the

list of suspects. The motion argues a lack of probable cause for their

involvement in the massacre and seeks the inhibition of Soils Reyes as the presiding

judge in the trial.


“The IFJ is encouraged by this

important milestone in the Ampatuan Massacre Trial, and hopes to see the

arraignment of all suspects proceed without further delay,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.  


“We can only hope that the trial

continues to progress from this point on for the sake of the victims’




For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +61 2 9333 0919



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