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Republic of the Philippines

Supreme Court
Manila

Public Information Office
MEDIA BRIEFER
23 November 2016
UPDATE ON
PEOPLE V. AMPATUAN, ET AL.1
(As of November 23, 2016)
These murder cases account for 58 victims (32 of them journalists), originally
involving 197 accused (15 of whom are surnamed Ampatuans), with 114 accused
already arrested, including one whose cases were dismissed as against him for lack
of probable cause, 2 one already dropped from the (Amended) Informations by
virtue of a Joint Order dated February 13, 2013 and Order dated November 5,
2013, 3 two discharged as state witnesses. 4 4 of the accused, including Andal
Ampatuan, Sr., died while in detention.5 From those arraigned, only 106 accused
remain on trial before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 221.
There are 12 lawyers comprising the third Panel of Public Prosecutors, 7 private
prosecutors, and 27 defense lawyers/firms actively attending the proceedings. The
transcripts of stenographic notes have now reached 53 volumes, while the records
of the cases are 117 volumes thick.
As of November 23, 2016, the court has already heard a total of 232 witnesses: 131
prosecution witnesses, 58 private complainants, and 43 defense witnesses.

Summary as of
November
2015
November
1

23,
23,

Number of Witnesses Heard
Prosecution
Private
Defense
Complainants
93
58
27
131

58

43

TOTAL
178
232

People of the Philippines versus Datu Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan, Jr. et al.
Case Numbers: Q-09-162148-72, Q-09-162216-31, Q-10-162652-66, Q-10-163766, GL-Q12-178638; Statistics are taken from the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 221;
2
After having filed a Motion for Determination of Probable Cause.
3
Accused/witness’ discharge was pursuant to Section 10, R.A. No. 6981.
4
Motion to Discharge was granted on February 21, 2014 and witness was released to the
custody of WPP, and [2nd] Motion to Discharge was granted in an Order dated April 25,
2016 and witness was released from detention.
5
The Public Attorney’s Office, on behalf of one of the three deceased accused, filed a
Motion to Dismiss which was granted by the Court in an Order dated June 30, 2016.

2016
VARIANCE

+38

+16

+54

The trial court has resolved all the 12 sets of Formal Offer of Evidence (FOE)6 in
connection with the bail applications of 69 accused. It has likewise resolved all bail
applications of the accused, except that of accused Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan, Jr.,
whose formal offer of evidence was deemed submitted for resolution on October 14,
2016.
All bail proceedings having been resolved (except for accused Ampatuan Jr.), the
proceedings are already now at the stage of presentation of the evidence-in-chief.
The prosecution is no longer presenting evidence in the main cases against 103 of
the accused subject of the six batches of FOEs it has already filed in Court.7
It is now the turn of the defense to present its evidence-in-chief. Nine of the
accused, who were the subject of the first batch of defense FOEs resolved by the
Court on June 13, 2016, have already either presented their defense evidence or
filed a demurrer to evidence.8 As of this writing, only one accused of the nine is still
presenting defense evidence.
The second batch of defense FOEs, involving 45 of the accused, has already been
resolved on November 15, 2016.9 The initial presentation of their defense evidence
of these 45 accused will commence on January 19, 2017.
As of this writing, only the following major incidents are left: (1) resolution of the
bail application of accused Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan, Jr., and subsequently his
trial-in-chief; (2) the resolution of the remaining defense FOEs; and (3) the
conclusion of the presentation of defense evidence. After all of the parties have
rested, these murder cases would then be submitted for the decision of the court.###

6

A Formal Offer of Evidence is the formal submission of all relevant evidence (testimonial
and documentary) by a party for the court’s consideration in connection with the purposes
for which they are submitted. Without a FOE submitted and admitted by the court, the court
cannot consider any of the evidence marked and testified to during the trial.
7
The prosecution has yet to submit its FOE against three of the accused, including Andal
Ampatuan, Jr. whose case is still the subject of bail proceedings.
8
A demurrer to the evidence is a manifestation by an accused arguing that the evidence
presented is insufficient to convict and, if granted, would result in the dismissal of the case
against him and essentially an acquittal; if a demurrer is denied where the accused has
sought leave of court previous to its filing, the accused may still present evidence to rebut
the prosecution’s evidence. If no leave of court has been sought by the accused, he waives
his right to present evidence on his behalf.
9
Less one (1) accused who was already discharged by virtue of an Order dated April 25,
2016.

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