Defense lawyer says illness could have triggered death of some Ampatuan victims

Can you imagine having so many deaths all in one place? Even if these victims had pre-existing illness, how could they possibly die all at once?

Other causes, such as illness, could have triggered the death of some of the victims in the gruesome Ampatuan massacre in 2009, a defense lawyer said on Thursday.

Defense lawyer Andres Manuel raised this argument while cross examining prosecution expert witness Chief Inspector Dean Cabrera of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory.

In his series of testimonies since December last year, Cabrera, a medico-legal expert who autopsied the bodies of 12 of the 57 massacre victims, had repeatedly said the victims suffered fatal gunshot wounds all over their bodies that could have caused their deaths.

However, Manuel, on Thursday, asked Cabrera if the latter was aware if the victims he autopsied were suffering from illnesses before their death.

Cabrera said he learned from the relatives that some of the victims were suffering from illnesess but could not exactly remember what they were.

Asked during a break in the hearing what he was trying to drive at, Manuel told reporters that health problems like cardiac arrest, seizure, or even epilepsy could have been triggered shortly before they were shot, while they were being rounded up on a hilly portion of Barangay Salman in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao.

“In that kind of situation, these illnesses could have been triggered and could have been the cause of death,” Manuel said.

But private prosecutor Harry Roque, who represents families of some of the slain journalists, described Manuel’s insinuations as “ridiculous.”

“Each of the victims sustained at least nine gunshot wounds. How else could you explain those contusions (on their bodies). They could not have inflicted them upon themselves,” Roque said.

Manuel also doubted indications pointed out by Cabrera that three of the victims he examined could have been sexually abused prior to their deaths, as evidenced by the seminal fluid found in their genitals.

The lawyer suggested the possibility that the “sexual abuse” could have happened “post mortem” of after the victims’ death and done by someone “who probably had necrophilia.”

Here are some reactions from social media

Source of news quote:

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado is a Content Strategist with over 13 years experience in blogging, content management, citizen advocacy and media literacy and over 23 years in web development. Otherwise known as @MomBlogger on social media, she believes in making a difference in the lives of her children by advocating social change for social good.

She is a co-founder and a member of the editorial board of Blog Watch . She is a resource speaker on media literacy, social media , blogging, digital citizenship, good governance, transparency, parenting, women’s rights and wellness, and cyber safety.

Her personal blogs such as (parenting) , (recipes), (gadgets) and (lifestyle), keep her busy outside of Blog Watch.


I am an advocate. I am NOT neutral. I will NOT give social media mileage to members of political clans, epal, a previous candidate for the same position and those I believe are a waste of taxpayers’ money.

I do not support or belong to any political party.

She was a Senior Consultant for ALL media engagements for the PCOO-led Committee on Media Affairs & Strategic Communications (CMASC) under the ASEAN 2017 National Organizing Council from January 4 -July 5, 2017. Having been an ASEAN advocate since 2011, she has written extensively about the benefits of the ASEAN community and as a region of opportunities on Blog Watch and

Organization affiliation includes Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation

Updated Juky 15, 2019

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ YouTube 

(Visited 250 times, 1 visits today)
Thanks for rating this! Now tell the world how you feel - .
How does this post make you feel?
  • Excited
  • Fascinated
  • Amused
  • Bored
  • Sad
  • Angry