Press Release
March 30, 2010

Statement of Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr.
on Dismissal of Rebellion Charges Against Ampatuans

The Ampatuans should not be released immediately.

By proper legal pleadings, their reported acquittal from the rebellion case, may still be put on hold.

They could still be detained in jail to face other charges like illegal possession of firearms, maintaining a private army, the massacre, among other possible criminal cases.

In my opinion, the rebellion charges were intentionally filed first even if any lawyer would have told the government prosecutors there was no evidence that backed them up just so the administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo would not be suspected of not doing anything to apply the law against the family who is one of the most useful tools of manipulating the will of the people in their turf in Maguindanao.

The government is in duty bound to have them arrested and charged with the proper criminal cases that can stand in court, not a sham case for rebellion when everyone knows there was no element of rebellion present when the massacre occurred or even thereafter.

The massacre was pure and simple multiple murders of innocent people.

By filing such crimes against them, they be detained without bail.

But no. The government chose to charge them with rebellion just so it can be said that they government under Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her minions were doing something to penalize the Ampatuans.

It was a non-case, filed with deceptive motives, and pursued with hypocritical zeal that the Arroyo government chose to do in order to mislead the people that it was upholding the law even against the warlords it was coddling in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

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