Ampatuan's arraignment to push through on Monday

March 26, 2012 11:53 am 

MANILA, March 25 — Former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr, will finally be arraigned on Monday (March 26) on the electoral sabotage charges filed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in connection with alleged irregularities in the 2007 senatorial elections, before the Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC).

Felda Domingo, spokesperson of Branch 112 of the Pasay RTC, said Ampatuan’s arraignment would push through Monday after it was postponed twice, the first on March 15 and March 19, due to his confinement at a military hospital after he complained of difficulty in breathing and vomiting of blood.

“Yes the arraignment on Monday will push through,” Domingo said when asked if the 70-year old Ampatuan, who is also facing multiple murder charges before a Quezon City court for allegedly masterminding the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, will have his day in court.

Ampatuan’s co-accused, former president and now Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former Maguindanao election supervisor Lintang Bedol have already entered their not guilty pleas on the charges during their arraignment.

They are accused of conspiring to rig the results of the 2007 mid-term polls and ensure a 12-0 win for the administration senatorial candidates.

Pasay RTC Branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas has deferred Ampatuan’s arraignment due to his medical condition but last Friday he was brought back to the Quezon City Jail Annex of the Metro Manila District Jail (MMDJ) in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig, where he and the other accused in the Maguindanao massacre were detained on orders of Quezon City RTC Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.

In her order, Solis-Reyes sided with the prosecution’s claim that there is no more reason for Ampatuan to stay a day longer at the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Medical Center as she noted that an examination of his medical records show that he responded well to the treatment, and that, his condition has in fact improved since he was first brought to the hospital last March 9.

His lawyers earlier asked the court to allow him to be transferred and be confined at the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) as he was suffering from pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and various other heart ailments but the prosecution objected as they cited a report conducted by a doctor from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) who said his pulmonary state was not critical.

But before he was brought back to his detention cell, Ampatuan undergo a CT scan and a cardiovascular exam at the PHC. (PNA)

RMA/CLTC

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