Legal moves afoot to disbar Agra
Posted by akosistella on April 21, 2010
SENATE President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada on Tuesday moved to disbar acting Justice Secretary Alberto Agra for exonerating two prime suspects in the Ampatuan Massacre of 57 people, including 30 journalists.
Estrada was reacting to the decision of Agra to drop the multiple-murder charges against suspended Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor Zaldy Ampatuan and former Maguindanao vice governor Akmad Ampatuan for last year’s mass murder of family members and supporters of their rivals from the Mangudadatu clan, and journalists accompanying the Mangundadatu convoy.
Estrada accused Agra of “blindly following an order from Malacañang and allowing himself to be used as a willing tool of the administration in repaying its political gratitude to the powerful Ampatuan clan.”
Outrage over Agra rising
MANILA, Philippines—Please wear black on Wednesday.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) urged the public to wear black to express “rage and disappointment” over the decision of Justice Secretary Alberto Agra to drop murder charges against two members of the Ampatuan clan.
The group also called on the public to gather at the Department of Justice at 4 p.m. Wednesday, along with the families of the 32 media workers killed in Maguindanao in November last year.
“Let us light candles for peace, and show that we will not be cowed, certainly not by those who allow themselves to be tools of injustice and impunity,” the NUJP said in a statement.
Palace tells DOJ to get act together
MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang on Tuesday asked the squabbling Justice Secretary Alberto Agra and state prosecutors to get their act together as President Macapagal-Arroyo and her advisers were determining whether she should step in on their row.
The prosecutors are opposing Agra’s order clearing two members of the Ampatuan clan of multiple murder charges for the massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao last year.
But this early, Sen. Edgardo Angara, a close ally of the President, said while Agra’s decision brought a “bad reaction” from the public, there was no need for the President to intervene.