Ampatuan Sr., arraignment pushes through on Thursday

March 15, 2012 9:21 am 

MANILA, March 14 — Despite the health condition, the arraignment of former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. in the electoral sabotage charges in connection with alleged irregularities in the 2007 senatorial elections before the Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) will push through as scheduled on Thursday morning.

Pasay City RTC Branch 112 spokesperson Felda Domingo said Andal’s arraignment will push through adding that they have yet to receive any motion or petition from his camp calling for the postponement of the hearing.

“Yes, the arraignment will push through on Thursday unless may mag-file ng postponement. But so, far wala pa naming isinasampa sa amin,” Domingo said Wednesday afternoon when asked if the hearing will push through despite Ampatuan’s confinement at the Armed Forces Medical Center in V.Luna.

In fact, Domingo said the court has served a notice of arraignment Wednesday for the arraignment to Ampatuan’s jailer at the Quezon City Annex of the Metro Manila District Jail (MMDJ) in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig where he is detained along with the other suspects in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, where he is one of the principal suspects.

Ampatuan is the only one of the three accused in the electoral sabotage case yet to be arraigned. His co-accused, former president and now Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former Maguindanao election supervisor Lintang Bedol have already pleaded not guilty to the charges during their arraignment.

But defense lawyer Sigfrid Fortun said his client would be unable to attend the arraignment, adding that the last time he saw the former governor, the latter was unable to speak and could only nod at him when he asked him.

As of Tuesday night, doctors at the AFP Medical Center described Andal’s condition as “guarded.”

Last week, Andal was brought first to the Taguig-Pateros District Hospital after he complained of difficulty in breathing and vomiting of blood. Authorities later transferred him to V. Luna as the district hospital lacks facilities to fully attend to his medical needs.

He was diagnosed to be suffering from pneumonia, diabetes mellitus and chronic liver disease among others.

On Wednesday, Ampatuan asked Quezon City RTC Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes to allow him to be transferred to the Philippine Heart Center arguing that the AFP Medical Center is ill-equipped to treat his illness.

Solis-Reyes is hearing the Maguindanao massacre case. (PNA)

RSV/CLTC

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