Kin of 58th Maguindanao massacre victim thankful for DoJ resolutionBy Julie Alipala
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—The Department of Justice’s resolution that recognized photojournalist Reynaldo Momay as the 58th victim of the Maguindanao massacre was second victory for the family’s quest for justice, his daughter, Fe Momay Castillo, said.
“My first winning in that case is the inclusion of my father as the 58th victim,” Castillo said in a message to the Inquirer via Facebook.
Castillo, who rejoined the rest of the Momay family in Minnesota last month, had filed in January a complaint for murder for the death of her father against members of the Ampatuan clan.
Although his body had not been found since the gruesome massacre took place in Ampatuan, Maguindanao in Nov. 2009, Castillo had argued that forensic experts found her father’s dentures in the area.
Momay, 63, was a photojournalist for the Tacurong City-based Midland Review and was among 32 journalists, who joined the convoy of Genalyn Mangudadatu for Sharif Aguak town, where the certificate of candidacy of her husband—then Buluan vice mayor Esmael Mangudadatu—for the Maguindanao gubernatorial race was to be filed.
They were waylaid as they were approaching Ampatuan town, allegedly by gunmen led by Unsay Ampatuan.
Castillo said she thought she lost her battle—to have her father officially recognized as the 58th victim of the Maguindanao massacre.
“I’m so happy that finally the resolution came out. I thought iniwan na ako sa ere ng prosecutor upon knowing that he already resigned,” she said.
She said she considered the DOJ resolution as her second victory.
“Sobrang happy ako because nag bunga ang paghihirap at pag aantay ko (I am very happy because there’s something positive that came out from all the hard work and long wait). I’m really thankful to Attorney Harry (Roque) and Attorney Gilbert Andres and all the lawyers of Roque-Butuyan law firm for keeping me inspired to pursue the case,” she said, adding that her lawyers worked “pro-bono.”