(Lead)Palace welcomes court’s approval of motion to consider Badal as state witness

February 14, 2013 11:30 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 14 — Malacañang Thursday welcomed a regional trial court’s (RTC) decision to approve the motion filed by the government prosecution panel to turn a former suspect in the infamous Maguindanao massacre into a state witness.

In a press statement, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Quezon City RTC Branch 221, which is under Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes, granted the prosecution’s move to drop former Vice Mayor Sukarno Badal from the charge sheet and turn him into a state witness instead.

“Today, the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City Branch 221 approved a motion by the prosecution to consider Sukarno Badal a state witness. Badal, former Vice Mayor of the town of Sultan Sa Barongis in Maguindanao,” Lacierda’s statement read.

Lacierda added that Badal is expected to testify on the planning, execution, and cover up of the mass murders of over 50 journalists, lawyers, and civilians in Ampatuan, Maguindanao in November of 2009.

“We hope the inclusion of Badal as a state witness serves not only to strengthen the prosecution’s hand but also to move the trial forward at a faster pace. Like all Filipinos, we want to see this case resolved at the soonest possible time,” Lacierda said. (PNA)

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