32 coffins a reminder of unresolved Maguindanao massacreBy Jamie Elona
MANILA, Philippines – A media organization and other militant groups are set to carry 32 coffins in a procession from the National Press Club to Mendiola, symbolizing the number of journalists, of the 58, killed in the massacre in Maguindanao in 2009.
The 32 coffins bore the names of each of the journalists found dead and buried in a mass grave in Shariff Aguak on the morning of Nov. 23, 2009.
One of the placards showed a picture of Andal Ampatuan Jr. behind bars, with the words “3 taon na, nakatawa pa!” Others showed photos of killed victims.
Andal was listed among the principal suspects, along with other members of the Ampatuan clan, believed to be involved in the massacre.
While 103 are now under detention, 92 remain at large, among them nine members of the Ampatuan clan, 64 Civilian Volunteer Organization (CVO) members, eight policemen, four AFP personnel and seven others, Special Investigation Task Froce “Maguindanao” said.
Along with the coffins, participants are also to bring an 11-foot tall “Impunity Monster Effigy” to Mendiola, “which will symbolize the long-drawn demand of the relatives of the Maguindanao Massacre victims for justice and for the culprits of the mass murder to pay the price for the crime they had committed,” said Crisanto de Leon, chairman of the UGATLahi Artists Collective, a group of visual artists who mounted the effigy.
The effigy will be burned at Mendiola later in the day.