Ampatuan Massacre Suspect Plea to be State Witness Rejected

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins

with affiliate the National

Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in stronglysupporting a decision by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima

to reject an offer by a key suspected conspirator in the 2009 Ampatuan Town

Massacre to be a state witness.



Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)Governor Zaldy Ampatuan last week confirmed rumours that

he was willing to testify against his father, Andal Ampatuan Sr,and brother Andal Ampatuan Jr.


The three family

members are on trial for the massacre in Maguindanao on November 23, 2009, in which

58 people including 32 journalists and media workers were brutally murdered.

“The IFJ welcomes the rejection of Zaldy Ampatuan’s application to be a state

witness,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director

Jacqueline Park said.


“Zaldy Ampatuan’s offer to

testify against family members seems an attempt to avoid the full judicial

process in prosecuting him for his alleged crime, and the IFJ joins with the NUJP in supporting the decision to reject the offer.”

At least one key prosecution witness has already identified

Zaldy Ampatuan as amongthose who conspired

and plotted the massacre, which disqualifies him from becoming a state witness,

the NUJP said in a statement

The IFJ also notes that Zaldy Ampatuan has not yet been arraigned because of a case brought by

the accused in the Court of Appeals, where he sought to be excluded from the group

of 197 people chargedwith 57 counts of

murder. The body of one further victim, Reynaldo “Bebot” Momay, has not been


The IFJ joins the NUJP in calling on

those seeking justice for the massacre victims and

theirfamilies to remain vigilant to ensure

that justice is upheld in this critical case.



further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +61 2 9333 0919



IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries



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