Congress has yet to pass a bill reimposing the death penalty for heinous crimes, But Maguindanao Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu said Wednesday he wanted the death penalty for the principal suspects in the Maguindanao massacre in 2009.
He made the statement when asked if he thought capital punishment would be the appropriate penalty for those found guilty in the case.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday approved the requests by various media organizations to allow live coverage of the Dec. 19 promulgation of a Quezon City court’s decision on the Maguindanao massacre in 2009, where 58 people―including 32 journalists―were killed.
Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes earlier set the promulgation for 9 a.m. on Dec. 19 at the Quezon City jail annex in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City, after the Supreme Court granted her request for a 30-day extension to resolve the mass murder case.
On Nov. 23, 2009, the wife of Mangudadatu, her sister, lawyer and other relatives and 38 journalists were on their way to Shariff Aguak to watch him file his certificate of candidacy for the gubernatorial race in the 2010 local elections.
That was when armed groups attacked them, killed them and even buried some of them alive on the orders of the Ampatuan patriarch, the late Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his children.
As far as Mangudadatu was concerned, the suspects deserved “hundreds of years in jail for the death of 58 people, including his wife and 32 media practitioners.”
Mangudadatu earlier said he would resign from Congress if the accused in the Ampatuan Massacre case were not convicted.
He added he expected the court to rule in favor of the victims of the massacre in Maguindanao, a decade-old case labeled as one of the worst election-related mass killings in the country.