MANILA, May 29 (Mabuhay) -– Seventy-eight suspects in the gruesome 2009 Maguindanao massacre entered a not guilty plea to a 58th murder charge on Wednesday.
Former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Zaldy Ampatuan, former Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. pleaded not guilty to the killing of the 58th victim of the massacre, Midland Review photojournalist Reynalo “Bebot” Momay.
Seventy-five other suspects, composed mostly of policemen and armed civilian and militia members, also entered a not guilty plea.
The 78 suspects were arraigned at the Quezon City Jail annex in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig before QC Region Trial Court Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.
The charges were filed following a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation on the complaint filed by Ma. Reynafe Momay-Castillo, the daughter of the slain photojournalist.
The DOJ had said there is sufficient evidence that Momay was indeed part of the ill-fated convoy, composed of journalists and relatives of then Buluan vice mayor and gubernatorial candidate Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu.
Momay was added last year to the original 57 victims of the massacre, after a team from the Commission on Human Rights recovered parts of his dentures. (MNS)