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MANILA, Philippines – Palace asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to look into the alleged P50-M Ampatuan payoff to Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III and other public prosecutors of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda requested Justice Secretary Leila de Lima “to shed light on this matter” for the government and the media would monitor the case.

On the other hand, De Lima branded the allegations of private prosecutor Nena Santos that the P300-million bribe she refused may have fallen to the hands of the prosecutors as “preposterous”.

De Lima dared Santos to immediately substantiate her claims with evidence and defended the state prosecutors led by Prosecutor Archimedes Manabat.

“If the accuser is serious, then I challenge [her] to file the proper case,” De Lima said to reporters on Monday.

However, De Lima asked Santos why they still need to wait for her to leave office before they disclose the identity of the prosecutors who accepted the bribe.

Santos claimed that the state prosecutors conspired with the Ampatuans, the prime suspects for the death of 58 people that include 32 journalists in 2009.


Caryl Vivien Tomanda


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