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CA upholds conviction of cop in Maguindanao massacre

MANILA – The Court of Appeals (CA) has turned down a motion for reconsideration filed by a police officer who was convicted for his involvement in the November 2009 Maguindanao massacre.

In a resolution dated February 21, the CA’s former special sixth division denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Senior Police Officer 2 (SPO2) Badawi Bakal, noting that “he has not raised any new, substantial ground or reason that would call for a reversal or modification of our decision”.

Bakal was earlier acquitted by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) in December 2019 but the CA in June last year reversed this and found him liable as an accessory to the crime.

This came after the Office of the Solicitor General appealed Bakal’s acquittal by RTC Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.

“Being a police officer in the active service, SPO2 Bakal abused his public office when he concealed the identities of the accused; he failed to effect or cause their immediate arrest; and he contributed to the delay in the investigation,” the CA said in its June 14, 2021 decision.

The court sentenced Bakal to imprisonment of four years and two months of prison correccional as a minimum to 10 years of prison mayor as a maximum for each of the 57 counts of murder. He also has to pay for civil indemnity and damages to the family of the 57 victims.

The Quezon City RTC in December 2019 convicted Datu Andal Ampatuan Jr. and Zaldy Ampatuan, the masterminds of the infamous massacre, of 57 counts of murder and sentenced them to reclusion perpetua without parole.

A total of 28 other co-accused including police officers were also convicted of 57 counts of murder and sentenced to 40 years, while 15 other accused were sentenced to six to 10 years for being accessories to the crime.

Among those killed in the massacre, dubbed as the deadliest attack on media workers in recent history, are 31 journalists who accompanied the convoy of Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu who then filed his candidacy for Maguindanao governor in the 2010 elections. (PNA)

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Credit belongs to : www.pna.gov.ph

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