“In deference to this Honorable Court, it should now stop extending so much grace, sympathy or concern to accused Ampatuan but has to act firmly and with an iron hand to prevent any untoward contingency while its decision is still underway,” it added. Witnesses testified that members of the Ampatuan family, the Mangudadatus’ rival political clan in Maguindanao, masterminded the crime. On Nov. 23, 2009, a convoy composed of relatives, supporters and media were on their way to file Mangudadatu’s certificate of candidacy for the 2010 elections when they were stopped by armed men, driven to a hill, shot, and buried in shallow pits. Fifty-eight people, including 32 journalists and six motorists who were not part of the convoy, were killed in what is the worst case of election-related violence in Philippine history. “It cannot be gainsaid that the promulgation of judgment on these cases is forthcoming with the prosecution’s strong belief of conviction for accused Ampatuan. The prosecution panel, therefore, is of the view that accused Zaldy Ampatuan would do any last-ditch move towards his liberty, be it resorting to his act of taking flight,” it added. MANILA – State prosecutors have asked a Quezon City court handling the Maguindanao massacre case to order the return of primary defendant Zaldy Ampatuan to detention, fearing he might do any last ditch move towards his liberty with the verdict on the case soon to be released. In a motion to the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221, the prosecutors asked the court to “order and direct” Ampatuan’s return to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City from Makati Medical Center, where he is confined after suffering from stroke in October. Zaldy Ampatuan, one of the primary accused in the gruesome Maguindanao massacre, was brought to the hospital last October after suffering a stroke. He has since been confined at Makati Medical Center, where he is receiving physical and occupational therapy. ABS-CBN NEWS Quezon City Regional Trial Court judge Jocelyn Solis Reyes is expected to come out with a verdict on the case not later than Dec. 20./PN “The prosecution panel is not unmindful of the medical condition of PDL (Person Deprived of Liberty) Ampatuan. Unfortunately, it is apprehensive that his alleged hospital confinement under the cloak of being still undergoing continuous physical and occupational therapy may provide hum all the opportunity for a convenient escape,” the prosecutors said. The prosecutors also want to augment security personnel guarding Ampatuan to ensure that he can never take flight. The prosecutors also said that “there is no longer any need” for Ampatuan to remain at the Makati Medical Center as the therapy sessions could be done in the detention facility.