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MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE JUDGE DESERVES COMMENDATION – GORDON

Senator Dick Gordon has commended Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes for finally bringing to a close, the decade-old Maguindanao massacre case.

“Judge Reyes deserves to be commended for continuing with the case to its conclusion after she took over from another QC judge. The lady judge displayed her commitment to fulfilling her duty to dispense justice fairly even in the face of considerable intimidation. It was a very hard work for her,” Gordon said.

“The lady judge displayed her commitment to fulfilling her duty to dispense justice fairly even in the face of considerable intimidation.”

Reyes, presiding judge of Quezon City RTC Branch 221, penned the decision which found several members of the influential Ampatuan clan guilty of multiple murder for the massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao in 2009 which has now come to be known as the single deadliest attack on journalists in the world and an unprecedented case of election-related violence.

Among the Ampatuan clan members who were found guilty for 57 counts of murder were former Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor Zaldy Ampatuan, Anwar Ampatuan Sr., Anwar “Ipi” Ampatuan Jr., and Anwar Sajid “Ulo” Ampatuan. Akmad Ampatuan alias “Tato” and Sajid Islam Ama Ampatuan were meanwhile acquitted for reasonable doubt.

Family patriarch, Andal, Sr., who was considered a main suspect, died of liver cancer in 2015 while the case was being tried.

“Prisoners convicted of heinous crimes are not eligible to avail of the benefit of the GCTA law.”

Gordon also pointed out that with the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 10592 or the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law, the accused who were sentenced to reclusion perpetua, or a maximum of 40 years without benefit of parole, will not be able to use the law to get released from the New Bilibid Prison.

“The GCTA law is very clear that prisoners convicted of heinous crimes are not eligible to avail of the benefit of this law. It’s implementing rules and regulation has also been revised hence the abusive implementations, that the contradictions in the previous IRR allowed, would no longer be possible,” the seasoned lawmaker concluded.

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