DOJ official denies bribery in massacre case

Posted at 08/01/2014 5:10 PM | Updated as of 08/02/2014 2:41 AM

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Usec Baraan to Nena Santos: You can't dictate on the DOJ

MANILA - Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III, the official in charge of the Maguindanao massacre cases, debunked Atty. Nena Santos' claims that members of the Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecution panel have been paid off so as to compromise the trials.

Baraan challenged Santos to show proof now, and name names, so that the DOJ can speedily act on the matter, even as he stressed that Santos' statements were "malicious, irresponsible, outlandish, fabricated, out of place, juvenile, and childish."

Baraan said Santos' statements against the public prosecutors are "lies."

The official stressed that Santos, a classmate of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima at San Beda Law School, is acting like a "spoiled child" who always wants to have her way in the Maguindanao massacre trials.

Baraan reminded Santos that she is representing the private interests of several of the victims' kin, including Maguindanao Governor Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu, such as civil indemnity, but she is not prosecuting the case.

Baraan stressed that the DOJ prosecutors are the ones prosecuting the multiple murder cases, and should have the final say in all matters concerning the trial.

The DOJ will proceed with its plan to rest its case and presentation of evidence against 28 of the accused, including former Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr.

This "sound strategy" is warranted by virtue of a Supreme Court (SC) resolution that allows separate trials for this kind of cases, Baraan said.

Baraan asked, "How do you solve a problem like Nena Santos?" as he stressed that Santos and another private lawyer Prima Quinsayas are causing the problems, not the public prosecutors and not the other private lawers.

He further asked, "What is her [Nena's] agenda? Where is she coming from?"

"Ang aming (DOJ) agenda isa lang - ang ito'y mapabilis at manalo at makuha ang hustisya para sa ating mga kababayan at mga family ng mga victims," Baraan stressed.

De Lima met Baraan and the prosecution panel Friday morning and expressed her full support to them.

Baraan said the justice chief told the panel that their decisions shall prevail in the trial of the Maguindanao massacre cases.