- Published on Friday, 20 July 2012 00:00
- Written by ANGELA LOPEZ DE LEON
By A Web design Company
THE defense panel in the Maguindanao massacre case yesterday implied that Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu may have “benefited” from the massacre of 57 persons including his wife Bai Genalyn in 2009 as it boosted his candidacy in the 2010 elections.
At the cross-examination held at makeshift courtroom in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, defense lawyer Andres Manuel asked Mangudadatu whether the massacre “boosted his candidacy” and if it “catapulted” him to power since he “became part and parcel of regular news.”
“Weren’t you invited to talk shows?” Manuel asked Mangudadatu.
The defense lawyer said Mangudadatu has freely campaigned around the province while the Ampatuans were placed behind bars for their alleged involvement in the massacre.
Private prosecutor Prima Quinsayas vehemently objected to Manuel’s line of questioning saying “it was an insult to the witness.”
“The implication your honor is that he (Mangudadatu) was behind the massacre. He is not the accused here,” Quinsayas told Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221.
Mangudadatu clarified he was interviewed because Bai Genalyn was his wife and two other victims were his sisters-in-law.
Sigfrid Fortun, a lawyer of the Ampatuan clan, asked Mangudadatu about the alleged discrepancies in the complaint he filed against the Ampatuans and the direct testimony about his last conversation with his wife Bai Genalyn.
Fortun noted that Mangudadatu, in his January 25, 2010 affidavit, said his wife told him that Andal Ampatuan Jr. was with some 100 armed men when the convoy was stopped.
“(But) there was no mention of the number of people involved in his direct testimony,” Fortun said.
He also said that in the affidavit, Mangudadatu said that his wife’s last words were “Unsay (Ampatuan Jr.) is near! I was slapped!” while the governor, in his direct testimony, quoted his wife as saying “Unsay is here! Unsay is here!”
“Being near and here are two different things,” Fortun noted.
Mangudadatu replied the two words have the same interpretation.
“Ang malapit at nandito na, ang ibig sabihin noon nakita mo na,” the governor said.