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Charges vs Ampatuan to remain separate (8:39 p.m.)
In The Press Posted on December 10th, 2009.
MULTIPLE murder and rebellion cases filed against Andal "Unsay" Ampatuan will remain separate, said Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera.
"The crime of murder can not be absorbed by rebellion. Two cases have to go their separate ways," she said.
Senator Richard "Dick" Gordon expressed concern that a weak rebellion case against Ampatuan and those other responsible could also lead to their acquittal of the multiple murder.
Gabriela Representative Liza Maza also interpolated the same concern.
Devanadera said the massacre happened on November 23, which was before the declaration of martial law on December 1.
"The motive was clan war between the Mangudadatu. The declaration of martial law was done after the arrest of Unsay... Therefore, your
honor, prior to the declaration, we have accused Unsay of multiple murder," Devanadera said.
The declaration of martial entailed that anyone caught during its duration can only be charged with rebellion.
Devanadera maintained that the much debated upon "actual rebellion" that led to the declaration of martial law happened after Ampatuan's arrest.
Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan said the multiple murder case of the massacre of 57 people against Ampatuan must be pursued more than the rebellion case.
Pangilinan stated that multiple murder accounts to a maximum sentence or reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment while rebellion would only
amount to a maximum of 40 years imprisonment.
"Multiple murder is a stronger case sending a stronger signal that we mean business," he said. (Angela Casauay/Sunnex)