SC urged to hasten Maguindanao massacre case

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MANILA, Philippines—Lawmakers on Friday urged the Supreme Court to intervene in the Maguindanao massacre trial to expedite its proceedings.

In a text message sent to reporters, Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño said he supported lawyer Harry Roque’s suggestion for the high tribunal to assign another court to handle other petitions and motions on the case.

“There should be additional courts to hear related motions and petitions as proposed by Harry Roque,” he said.

“At the pace the trial is going now, the so-called trial of the century may take a century to be completed. This is an extraordinary case and the Supreme Court should use extraordinary measures to ensure a swift and just trial, including of course, live coverage of the trial,” Casiño said.

This was echoed by Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone who said that the high tribunal should exercise its jurisdiction over the lower courts and “intervene to direct the court handling the Maguindanao massacre case to expedite the proceedings.”

“I think the SC can make the difference in this case,” he said.

Kabataan Partylist Representative Raymond Palatino called the “non-prosecution and non-punishment of criminals like Andal Ampatuan and his cohorts” as a proof of President Benigno Aquino III’s disinterest in delivering justice.

He is pushing for the passage of House Bill 5511 which seeks to declare November 23 as the National Day Against Impunity, a measure which remains pending with the House committee on human rights.

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