The panel of legal counsels with the respondents in yellow t-shirts to their back in yesterday’s historic judgment day on the gruesome Maguindanao Massacre case.    

MANILA, Philippines – The dreaded Ampatuan brothers were proclaimed guilty as charged, for murdering 58 people, including 32 media practitioners.

Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis Reyes declared Ampatuan brothers Datu Andal Jr and Zaldy guilty and convicted them with 57 counts of murder in the gory massacre of November 23, 2009.

The verdict reverberated across the nation through social and political spectrums in what could be the most-awaited trial of the decade.

However, their brother Datu Sajid Islam Ampatuan was acquitted.

Datu Andal and Zaldy were meted with reclusion perpetua sentences or up to 40 years in jail without parole.

Judgment on the massacre of 58 people on November 23, 2009, was handed down in a tightly-secured courtroom inside Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.

Reports have it the 58 victims were part of a convoy that sought to file the certificate of candidacy of then-Maguindanao governor aspirant Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, who also appeared before the media on the 10th year anniversary of the mass killings last November 23, 2019.

The Maguindanao Massacre is considered as the deadliest attack in modern history involving journalists in the world and darkest election-related violence in Philippine election history. (IAMIGO/CNS)

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