no live coverage of ampatuan trial :(

Supreme Court spokesperson Atty. Midas Marquez said that only 30 accredited media, close relatives and counsels of complainants and defendants would be allowed inside the court room.

“I am asking for everyone’s cooperation. We are doing this for everyone’s sake, we’re not doing this for us, we’re doing this for everyone’s sake: for the accused to have a fair trial and for media to be able to access the hearing. So let us please coordinate and cooperate with one another,” Marquez said in a press conference.

Security will be tight inside the court room as well.

Media would have to pass through three “stations” for security check and proper verification of identification. Only one reporter from each media outfit is allowed inside the court room. No cellular phones, recorders, and other devices are allowed inside the court room, Marquez said.

in a tv newscast i heard marquez saying it was to “avoid trial by publicity”; in an interview by pia hontiveros that i caught the tail of, he was saying it was to avoid a situation like joseph estrada’s impeachment trial that saw people taking to the streets, or something to that effect.

but but but senator rodolfo biazon is right to ask for full media coverage:

“The PNP (Philippine National Police) and the government must give full transparency,” Biazon said. “The executive department must provide transparency to eliminate any doubts, to disprove (speculations) that the Ampatuans are supported by the military and the government.”

“Halimbawa, dapat makita itong trial,yung court hearing na naka schedule na gawin sa Camp Crame. Talagang special na mga nilalang ang mga Ampatuans dahil talagang naghanda pa ng court para sa kanila (For example, this court hearing in Camp Crame must be made public. The Ampatuansare really special because a court has been prepared especially for them),” Biazon pointed out.

hmm.   i wonder if ampatuan’s lawyers have anything to do with this supreme court directive.   suddenly i’m remembering what alex magno said about andal jr.’s very matinik lawyers:

We know now the Ampatuans have hired the best lawyers money could buy — and I have phrased that as carefully as I can.

Those lawyers will throw in every rule in the book, find every loophole in the law and develop every excuse to invalidate evidence. They will fight tooth-and-nail, if not to clear their clients, make it impossible to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

…A judicial ruling, after all, is shaped by the give-and-take of the trial proceedings — not by the strength of conviction in the public mind about the guilt or innocence of the accused.

yeah, this is one of those times when “due process” works in favor of the accused, sorry na lang ang mga biktima.   let’s hope that prosecution witnesses stand firm in their face-off with the notoriously crafty sigmund sigfrid fortun.   too too bad we’re not going to see any of it :-(


  1. Just the mere fact that these lawyers allowed themselves to be hired (and they number 50 I believe) is already demoralizing to me. If you want to sue a Lopez or a Conjuangco, you think you can get as many lawyers, even if you sweat money?

  2. It would have been ok if the intent was truly for due process… but in the Philippine corrupt legal system what they do is always suspect and as Biazon pointed out, there is a need for transparency so we can all see that due process is indeed observed.

  3. manuelbuencamino

    Diyoskopo pordiyos porsanto Midas. Trial by publicity ay issue lang kung meron tayong trial by jury. Meron ba? Eh wala pala. Judge dito ang humahatol based on evidence. Emotions do not play a part in court decisions around here. But money does in many cases. It’s called trial by currency.

  4. Die_Hard Noypi

    To mb: corect ka dyan. Is about time to adopt Grand Jury Trial. its more democratic,Constitutionally compliant, prevents bribery and collution between judge and prosecution. There’s a group spear headed by certain Marlowe of USA,urging our govt to apply this system I hoped they succeed.

  5. as people knoledgeable of the mascre that had happened, dont’ you have even a little concern of gaining information and updates of the case?are you not interested because simply watching it wont even give you the chance to make use of your opinion in the jurisdiction of the accused?are you not concerned of those filipino people who had been victims in one way or another? YOU might not be but consider OTHERS’ as well…