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Accused in Maguindanao massacre case to be arraigned.

Byline: Julie M. Aurelio

MANILA -- An accused in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre case who claimed to have been mistaken for somebody else is to be arraigned next Thursday.

Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court's Branch 221 said there was no longer any legal impediment to the arraignment of Talembo Masukat, which she scheduled for April 10 at her court's improvised annex at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

In her three-page ruling, the judge said she found the prosecution's motion calling for Masukat's arraignment "impressed with merit" after the Supreme Court denied his petition for a restraining order stopping his arraignment.

Masukat's lawyer, Andres Manuel, Jr. said the prosecution's motion for his client's arraignment was premature as the Supreme Court's ruling was supposedly not yet final and executory as they had filed a motion for reconsideration.

The accused had previously asked the high court to stop his arraignment as he wanted the Quezon City court to recognize the ruling of a Cotabato court that Masukat, also known by the alias Talembo Kahar Abdulrahman, was not the same person charged with 58 counts of murder along with 194 other accused in connection with the Nov. 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre.

Judge Reyes said that with the Supreme Court junking Masukat's bid to stop his arraignment, there was no cogent reason to further delay his arraignment.

"Regardless of the subsequent final disposition of the high tribunal on the accused's petition including the resolution of his intended motion for reconsideration, it is crystal clear that the Supreme Court prefatorily refused to grant him the provisional, ancillary and extraordinary remedy of a TRO," Reyes said.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Apr 5, 2014
Words:274
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