Defense won't cross-examine masssacre star witness
MANILA, Philippines - Lakhmuddin Saliao, a long time "kasambahay" of the Ampatuan clan and star witness in the Maguindanao massacre trial, was under heavy guard when he arrived at the sala of Judge Jocelyn Solis Reyes.
But Saliao did not take the witness stand as lawyers for former ARMM Governor Zaldy Ampatuan waived their right to cross-examine the Ampatuan aide in the hearing on their client's petition for bail.
Defense counsel Sigfrid Fortun said they will present evidence in the future that Saliao is a manufactured witness.
But Atty Nena Santos, counsel for the Mangudadatu family, said the defense did not cross-examine Saliao because they could not impeach the witness' credibility.
She said Saliao had been acknowledged
by the family as a long serving "kasambahay" of the clan.
Saliao earlier testified he was present in a family meeting where the massacre was planned.
The government prosecution panel intends to present ABS-CBN reporter and anchor Anthony Taberna and his news crew as witnesses in opposing the bail petition of the former ARMM Governor.
Prosecutor Aris Reyes said Ampatuan made certain admissions in his interview with Taberna when he was seeking to turn state witness in the electoral sabotage case against former President Gloria Arroyo
Other witnesses prosecution wants to present in bail hearing are Lintang Bedol and Norie Unas, both witnesses to an electoral sabotage case.