Justice at last for 58 victims of Ampatuan Massacre?

first_imgILOILO City – Members of Iloilo medialed by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines – Iloilo Chapterand religious leaders gathered at Jaro district plaza yesterday on the 163rdbirth anniversary of Ilonggo journalist and hero Dr. Graciano Lopez Jaena andcalled for justice, a day before the court verdict on the Ampatuan Massacrecase is promulgated. “Pulona ka tuig pero wala pa naangkon ang katarungan gani amon ginapangayo.Amay…pun-a sang imo espiritu, ang espiritu sang kaalam, ang espiritu sangkatarungan kag kamatuoran, agud ang hukom nga magahatag sang iya panatbatnahanungod sining tama ka lawig nga pagbista sang kaso matagaan sang katarungannga magahalin lamang sa imo,” prayed MonsignorMeliton Oso, director, Jaro Archdiocesan Social Action Center. Nestor Burgos, national director ofNUJP, said even if these accused would be found guilty, justice won’t becomplete because 80 other suspects are still at large, many of them members ofthe Ampatuan clan./PN An ecumenical prayer was said. Itcentered on hope that the 58 victims of the November 2009 massacre would getjustice. With Oso were Fr. Joevy Publico ofIglesia Filipina Independiente; and Pastor Jec Dan Borlado of the Convention ofPhilippine Baptist Churches. The massacre occurred on the morningof Nov. 23, 2009 in the town of Ampatuan in Maguindanao, Mindanao. While the 58victims were on their way to file a certificate of candidacy for EsmaelMangudadatu, vice mayor of Buluan town, they were kidnapped and killed. The people killed includedMangudadatu’s wife, his two sisters, 32 journalists, lawyers, aides, andmotorists who were witnesses or were mistakenly identified as part of theconvoy.center_img Meanwhile, Andal Ampatuan Sr. died indetention on July 17, 2015 due to a liver ailment. The prayer was fittingly said in frontof the statue of Lopez Jaena, a journalist and one of the pillars of thePropaganda Movement against Spain during the Philippine Revolution. Thirty-twoof the 58 people killed in the Ampatuan massacre were journalists. Mangudadatu was then challenging DatuUnsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., son of then incumbent Maguindanao governorAndal Ampatuan Sr. and member of one of Mindanao’s leading Muslim politicalclans, in the 2010 national elections. There were a total of 197 accused inthe massacre. Of these, 103 were charged with multiple murder, including primesuspect Andal Ampatuan Jr., Zaldy Ampatuan (governor of the Autonomous Regionin Muslim Mindanao) and Datu Sajid Islam Ampatuan, who was allowed to post bailthree years ago. The Supreme Court (SC) has allowedlive media coverage of the promulgation which is expected to start at 9 a.m.today inside Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, Metro Manila.last_img read more