MANILA — The Court of Appeals (CA) has approved the transfer of one of the accused in Maguindanao massacre case from the Philippine National Police Custodial Center, Camp Crame, Quezon City to the Quezon City Jail Annex, despite the alleged threats to his life.
The massacre claimed the lives of 58 civilians, including 15 women and 32 media practitioners in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao on Nov. 23, 2009.
In an eight-page ruling, the CA’s Special 16th Division denied due course and dismissed outright the petition for certiorari filed by Takpan Dilon for being procedurally infirmed and lack of merit.
In the case entitled People of the Philippines vs. Datu Andal Ampatuan, Jr., et al, Dilon is one of the people charged with 58 counts of murder in connection with the Maguindanao massacre.
Quezon City RTC Branch 221 Presiding Judge Jocelyin Solis-Reyes issued On Sept. 2, 2013, an order ruling that there was no cogent reason for the continued detention of Dilon, among others, at the custodial center since the possibility of his being utilized as a state witness was nil.
Dilon argued that his life will be in grave danger if he will be transferred to the QC Jail Annex since the Department of Justice (DOJ) had previously considered to turn him into a state witness.
He claimed that the threat to his life is very real and the fact that his transfer was initiated by his co-accused is indicative of this threat.
In the Oct. 1, 2014 ruling written by Associate Justice Ramon Bato, Jr., the CA said Dilon failed to present any proof, documentary or otherwise, to substantiate his claim that his life will be in grave danger of the transfer.
“Thus, the alleged threat to his life and personal safety is more apparent than real,” it said.
“Besides, petitioner failed to advance any justifying reason why he should be treated differently from his co-accused who are presently detained at the Quezon City Jail Annex, given the fact that there were all charged with the same crime,” the CA added.
Concurring with the ruling were Associate Justices Socorro Inting and Eduardo Peralta, Jr.