Self-inflicted or a hoax?

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.

Manuel Buencamino

Buencamino was a weekly columnist for Today and Business Mirror. He has also written articles in other publications like Malaya, Newsbreak, "Yellow Pad" in Business World, and "Talk of the Town" in the Inquirer. He is currently with Interaksyon, the news site of TV5. MB blogged for Filipino Voices, blogs for ProPinoy and maintains a blog, Uniffors.com. Game-changers for him, as far as music goes, are Monk, Miles, Jimi, and Santana.

  • Felicity

    facepalm naman to, oo!

  • Bert

    “I guess when Pnoy promised to end corruption in Pilipinas, no one had told him yet that he has to work with Pilipinas judiciary.”-UP n

    OH, no, UP n, you missed it big this time around.

    From the beginning it’s public knowledge that the Corona Supreme Court is a GMA Supreme Court. Noynoy knows, everybody knows.

    Except you, UP n.

    Because you and GabbyD can’t believe it that GMA is a crook.

    While everybody does.

    • UP nn grad

      I keep telling you, bert. Noynoy can be judge and executioner over GMA. Two steps. Step One, Noynoy pronounces what you pronounce – GMA, guilty!!!!. Step Two, Noynoy sends troops to arrest her. Why he doesn’t do this when over 70% of Pilipinas voters voting for Noynoy, one wonders. Maybe it is step three.

      And I’ve told you this, too, bert. Noynoy has the troops to shut down Pilipinas Supreme Court so he can put as Supreme Court justices those honorable judges who will rubberstamp the agenda of Noynoy and his allies. Noynoy also has retired troops on his side including those “Oakwood mutiny” soldiers who received Noynoy-pardon. Maybe it is also step three holding Presidente-Noynoy back, what do you think?

      • It’s called “martial law.” that’s not how we make the country better.

        We can’t have short cuts.

      • Bert

        Well, UP n, three things:

        First off, you kept on harping about Noynoy’s Porsche but you’re not harping about WHY the Corona Supreme Court is a GMA Supreme Court instead of being the people’s Supreme Court.

        Second, you said the 1987 has assigned responsibility to the executive to identify and find evidence against the guilty. Is that true? The Corona Supreme Court seems to think it’s not true, they scrapped the Truth Commission, and the Truth Commission just want to find out the truth. And still, you’re still with Noynoy’s Porsche, and nothing about the Corona Supreme Court.

        And, third, you have good suggestions what Noynoy should do about GMA and the Supreme Court though I detect a tone of sadness in your voice but good suggestions just the same, though I won’t agree with it.

        But, you know, UP n, as some wise men say, there are many ways to skin a cat, and I mean we, the Filipino people, can really skin a cat.

        And, I’m sure our President Noynoy knows…how to skin a cat.

        You’ll see.

        • UP nn grad

          bert: If what you mean by “People’s Supreme Court” is a court voted in by the Filipino citizenry, that, bert, will need a Constitutional Amendment.

          If what you mean by “People’s Supreme Court” is a Supreme Court appointed by son-of-Cory who got 54% of the votes, then Noynoy-plus-some soldiers-and-ex-soldiers can do that.

          But the 1987 Constitution does support PresiNoynoy and his 24-hours-a-week workload. He can even reduce his working hours to 16-hours a week and the Constitution says that he will remain President until 2016.

    • GabbyD

      bakit kasama ako sa comment mo?

  • UP nn grad

    A few Pinoys-in-Pinas may not know this, but the Supreme Court (nor the lower judiciary branches)… the judiciary does not have any police powers to investigate corruption and criminal acts. The CBCP does not have the police-powers, either. Neither does Randy David, cocoy, Conrado deQuiros nor the editors and news reporters of Manila Times.

    Police-powers to identify the guilty, to find evidence against corrupt former-presidents or current- or planning-to-be-future-presidents, corrupt judges or corrupt senators, corrupt governors or mayors or congressmen or congresswomen… The 1987 Constitution has assigned responsibility for that Malacanang/ President-Noynoy/Executive Branch.
    —-
    You want rules to be different, then cooperate with those who are working for changes to 1987-Pilipinas Constitution.

    • GabbyD

      the executive does WHAT again? identify the guilty? ha?

  • UP nn grad

    I guess when Pnoy promised to end corruption in Pilipinas, no one had told him yet that he has to work with Pilipinas judiciary.

    Not guilty for reason of inosente.

  • UP nn grad

    One of the Malacanang pronouncements that people do not want to be a campaign slogan hoaxy hokum — that Noynoy gets to send GMA to jail.

    Now, just a few days ago Noynoy got an award in public relations/campaigning for Noynoy promise to eradicate corruption because “walang korap, walang mahirap”. [ Me??? I’ll be very happy if Noynoy administration on or before July2013 demonstrates that government leakage has dropped by 15%. (Forty convictions for tax-evasion — a big bonus. A thousand media-announcements-on-suspicion does not count.) Extremely happy when 2016 arrives and govt leakage has dropped by 30%.]

    • manuelbuencamino

      On or before July 2013 you expect convictions. Noynoy administration’s role is to prosecute. The judiciary from the lower courts to the SC will decide on the guilt or inocence of the accused. Now if there is no decision before July 2013 whom will you blame, the prosecutor or the courts?

      • UP nn grad

        POGI-points is when Malacanang parades a Lamborghini-guy as “… look, we caught a tax-evader!” and then Dept-Justice is unable to provide evidence to the courts to convict the accused.

        A few Pinoys in Pinas may not know this, but the role of the judiciary is to prevent kangaroo courts from convicting based on innuendos and hearsay. A few Pinoys in Pinas may not know this, but surely, deLima as well as the lawyers inside Malacanang know that the Executive Department has the responsibility to find who to accuse and the evidence against the accused.

        • manuelbuencamino

          Many Pinoys have come to know that the judiciary is the greatest hindrance in the fight against corruption.

          Some Pinoys want to change this perception because they are happy that the judiciary stands between GMA, her gang, and prison so they don’t want anything to sully the judiciary’s reputation.

          So they will nitpick the most inconsequential incidents and turn them into earthshaking events in the hope that those who fight corruption will be turned into villains before the eyes of the public.

          Good luck. Try harder.

        • Bert

          “A few Pinoys in Pinas may not know this, but surely, deLima as well as the lawyers inside Malacanang know that the Executive Department has the responsibility to find who to accuse and the evidence against the accused.”-UP n

          Yeah, correct ka na naman, UP n.

          Problem is the Crown Supreme Court is always around to foil every Malacanang’s moves thus those who are supposed to be inside the Bilibid Prison are still inside the bank counting their loot.

          • UP nn grad

            Rumor has it that a reason why Presi-Noynoy gave pardon to hundreds of Oakwood-mutiny soldiers is so he gets the loyalty of a few more Pinas-military trained. A few hundred with long-arms would be sufficient for Malacanang to forecefully shut down Supreme Court, kick out Corona and all the rest of Supreme Court members. It is logical that in order that Pilipinas Supreme Court does not foil him, his allies and their grand plans, then Noynoy has to clean the slate and Noynoy to appoint his own choices to Supreme Court.

  • GabbyD

    wow. the defense witness should just say its unlikely.

  • GabbyD

    wow. the defense witness should just say its unlikely.

  • GabbyD

    wow. the defense witness should just say its unlikely.