A few days after the Maguindanao massacre I reported that Malacanang, then under occupation by Gloria Arroyo, would claim that the victims committed mass suicide.
That’s almost exactly what Ampatuan’s lawyer claimed in yesterday’s court hearing. “Could they have done this to themselves?” asked defense counsel Andres Manuel during his cross-examination of the PNP medico legal officer.
MANILA, Philippines—Ampatuan lawyers tried to discredit the autopsy findings on 12 Maguindanao massacre victims for the second straight day, with one even bizarrely suggesting that the victims had bludgeoned themselves or that one of the female corpses was defiled by a necrophiliac.
“Could it be possible that a victim was already dead before getting these alleged gunshot wounds?” asked Andres Manuel.
“It could have been a heart ailment, asthma, appendicitis, or a seizure or epilepsy?” he added.
“Could they have done this to themselves?”
“What if someone was playing a hoax?”
Well, if the prosecutors were from the Ombudsman’s office and the judge was from the Sandigan then I wouldn’t be surprised if they found the defense lawyer’s theory logical and believable. I’m pretty sure they will allow the Ampatuan’s to plea bargain to a lesser offense like littering and excavation without a permit. And God forbid that someone questions the deal before the Supreme Court.