Mangudadatu warns against leniency for Ampatuans

Published January 5, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ben Rosario

Maguindanao Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu on Saturday warned that leniency in the treatment of the Ampatuans and others convicted for the Maguindanao massacre could trigger their escape from prison.

Maguindanao 2nd district Rep. Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu (photo courtesy of Maranao scribe Moh Saaduddin / MANILA BULLETIN)
Maguindanao 2nd district Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu (photo courtesy of Maranao scribe Moh Saaduddin / MANILA BULLETIN)

Mangudadatu aired this concern as he appealed to Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes to closely study the request of convicted Datu Zaldy Ampatuan to be transferred to the New Bilibid Prison infirmary for his therapy and rehabilitation sessions.

Prior to his conviction last month, Ampatuan, former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, has been confined at the Makati Medical Center for months.

In an urgent motion he filed last month, the convict appealed to the court to allow him to undergo therapy and rehabilitation.

Mangudadatu, who lost his wife and close relatives to the 2009 carnage, said he is asking the court to limit medical confinement of all Maguinadnao massacre convicts to the NBP infirmary to prevent possible escape.

“If he (Ampatuan) is as sick as he and his lawyers claimed him to be, then we leave it up for the NBP doctors and experts to determine it. I am not against him seeking medical assistance as long as it is done within the confines of the NBP infirmary in Muntinlupa,” said the lawmaker.

“My 10-year court battle with this family showed me how devious and calculating they are. Hindi malayong isipin nila ang option na tumakas. (The idea of escape is not far-fetched),” Mangudadatu stated.

He also questioned why the Urgent Motion to transfer filed by Zaldy’s lawyer last December 23 was made public only on Jan. 2.

Before Judge Reyes issued the ruling on December 19, Ampatuan was allowed confinement at the MMC for 40 days

The confinement eneded when the court official ordered his return to jail, saying that based on medical records Ampatuan’s condition was already stable prior to December 19.

Magnudadatu said he expects more convicts in the Maguindanao massacre to follow Ampatuan’s bid for hospital confinement.