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Judge in Maguindanao massacre case has 'nothing to fear' —Peralta

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 12/9/2019 NICOLE-ANNE C. LAGRIMAS,GMA News
a man sitting on a bench: Maguindanao Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu offers a prayer at the Ampatuan Massacre marker in front of the National Press Club in Manila on Friday, November 15, 2019, several days before 10th anniversary of the gruesome November 23, 2009 massacre. Over 50 people were killed in the massacre, including 32 journalists and Mangudadatu's wife and sister. Danny Pata © Danny Pata Maguindanao Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu offers a prayer at the Ampatuan Massacre marker in front of the National Press Club in Manila on Friday, November 15, 2019, several days before 10th anniversary of the gruesome November 23, 2009 massacre. Over 50 people were killed in the massacre, including 32 journalists and Mangudadatu's wife and sister. Danny Pata

The judge who will decide the Maguindanao massacre case in 10 days has so far reported no threats to her safety and has "nothing to fear," Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said Monday.

"She's been doing her job very well," Peralta said of Quezon City Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes, who handled the multiple murder trial of over a hundred defendants, including members of the influential Ampatuan clan, for more than nine years.

The chief justice said Solis-Reyes, his former student, gave all the accused the required due process and allowed them to fully defend themselves during trial.

"I think she has nothing to fear," Peralta said, adding that Solis-Reyes "does not hesitate to read her books and ask her peers if she has problems in the course of the trial."

He said she might but has not yet asked for security, which he said the Supreme Court (SC) would provide if requested.

"Or she might take a leave of absence or she might go back to her former court. She has not yet told us what she wants," he said.

Meanwhile, the SC will discuss in their Tuesday en banc session whether or not to allow live media coverage of the December 19 promulgation of judgment at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, Peralta said.

Several media groups, news outfits and government communications agencies have requested the court to allow them to air or stream the long-awaited proceedings live.

Peralta said the Office of the Court Administrator and the court's Public Information Office have submitted a recommendation, but that the details would still have to be taken up.

The National Capital Region Police Office has required reporters to secure accreditation from the SC and approval from Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas before they are allowed to enter the police camp to cover the promulgation.

Peralta said the court also has to consider the NCRPO's suggestion because the SC cannot provide security. The event being an "act of the judiciary," he said the court has its "own control of the premises, but we have to coordinate with them." —KBK, GMA News

This article Judge in Maguindanao massacre case has 'nothing to fear' —Peralta was originally published in GMA News Online.

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