No word from Aquino on Maguindanao massacre

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On the third anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre on Friday, President Benigno Aquino III said nothing about that political violence that took the lives of 58 people, including 32 journalists.

Mr. Aquino instead touted his administration’s purported gains in the campaign against journalist killings, which continue to happen on his watch.

“In cases of media killings, for example, we in [the] government are demanding the apprehension of suspects and the filing of charges that stick, resulting in justice for all involved,” he said in a speech at a gathering of media executives in Tagaytay City.

“In other cases of violence involving [journalists], we have taken affirmative and just action,” Mr. Aquino said, referring to a provincial governor suspended for attacking a broadcaster.

The President pointed to the need for an efficient justice system to deal with violence against journalists.

“More than anything, the protection of the rights of all—journalists included—relies on the fair and impartial dispensation of justice,” he said.

“We must have courts that are impartial and fair in the verdicts they hand down. If the courts demonstrate impunity at the top, then the lowest regional trial courts will follow suit. This is why I have been so focused on reforming our justice system,” he said.

While Mr. Aquino did not mention the Nov. 23, 2009, Maguindanao massacre specifically, he discussed two proposals that he said would “lead your industry to close ranks.”

The President was referring to the move to decriminalize libel and the proposed right of reply bill.

“Basic fairness should suggest that these proposals are not motivated merely by hostility to [the] media, but that there may be cases where people are genuinely and justifiably aggrieved,” he said.

“Instead of shutting the door, let us engage in respectful dialogue, so that we can reach a consensus that is fair to all concerned,” he said.

Mr. Aquino said the decriminalization of libel “should not be license to commit it.”

“With a [press] entrusted with greater responsibility and a greater awareness of the import of your work, you will better fulfill your mandate, and gain even more trust and renown from your audience,” he said.

The President has been under fire for his refusal to categorically support the freedom of information (FOI) bill, a measure he had promised to enact in stump speeches during the campaign for the presidential election in 2010.

Two years later, the bill remains stranded at the committee level in the House of Representatives.

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  • julymorning

    ANONG AASAHAN KAY ABNOY? INUUNA PA ANGA KANYANG PAG PAPA CUTE, KUNYARI LALAKING LALAKI AT MAHILIG SA BARIL…MAUUNA PA SEGURO MALAGAS ANG BUHOK SA ULO NG WALANG UTAK AT WALANG BAYAG NA NAKAUPO SA MALAKANYANG KAYS MABIGYAN NG HUSTISYA O KAHIT PANSIN MAN LANG ANG MGA KINATAY NG MGA AMPATUAN. ONLI IN DA PILIPINS!!!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

      MANHID NA PILIPINO SA PATAYAN MATAGAL NA UNSAFE ANG PINAS KAHIT TURISTA UNSAFE AT MALILIIT NA NEGOSYO SA MAY NILA UNSAFE SA HOLDAPER MATAGAL NA YAN;; PANAHON PA NI CORY UNSAFE NA PINAS”’ ANG CRIMINAL PARA PUMATAY NG MANOK MASDAN MO CRIME RATE NG BANSA NGAYON’ WARZONE NG CRIMINAL KAYA KAYO ISARADO NINYO MABUTI ANG BAHAY NINYO”’ DI NA KAYO SAFE”

      • julymorning

        SO ANO SILBI NG PRESIDENTE MO?

    • Ping Gonzales

      jULY MORNING IKAW ITONG TAONG WALANG GINAWA KUNDI MAGKUTYA, HAHANAK NG KAMALI AN AT KATI SA KAPWA UPANG LALAITIN KUKUTYA IN MULANG UMAGA HANGGANG GABI, ANO BANG KAKAININ MO BUKAS PLANADO NA BA? MAGBANAT BANAT KA NGA PARA UMASENSO KA AT MAKABAYAD SA MGA UTANG MO LOL!

  • Hey_Dudes

    Critics seem to be good only by being critics.  When the sitting president was seen as trying to place his influence in the justice system DOJ in general, the supreme court in particular, critics from all walks of life cried foul.  The claimed Pnoy is trying to dictate and wants all government branches consolidated into his sole power?

    Lo and behold, now that the sitting president is leaving the justice system to those task dispensing it, critics are criticizing him for not saying anything?

    Ang hirap pala talagang maging presidente ng Pinas.  You will always be in a dammm if you do, dammmm if you don’t love affair with the Filipino people?  It seems more and more the only thing thing making Filipinos happy is finding faults and the itch to criticize morning noon and night!

    • ikesbox

       I don’t think asking for justice after 3 years of the massacre is critizicing. The main suspects are in jail, bodies are found, there are witnesses and testimonies. Is asking for justice be referred as criticism? He is the president, he wields authority to make justice move a little faster, or is this true only if he has personal investment on the case like GMA and Corona, everything else can wait ad infinitum. The survivors and the people deserve better than this.

      • Hey_Dudes

         Are you insinuating GMA and Corona are Benigno Cojuangco Aquino III’s personal business?  Do I take it you are not happy that for once, his administration is doing something for corrupt people to account for their deeds or did you not – rather, you do not accept the fact these two although not yet convicted of any crime, were the most prolific mafia members in the country that fleecing government coffers has become the norm rather than the exception?  For those of you not happy that the murders in Maguindanao not getting it’s closure, why not petition government to just allow the president to sit as judge to decide the case of these Ampatuans.  I am sure, just as you are, Pnoy would be happy to have these criminals facing a firing squad?  But lord knows, the minute he makes that decision, the bleeding heart liberals in society led by priest, bishops, nuns and politicians will accuse him of murder?  Ngayon, saan mo gustung ilgay ng tao ang kanyang sarili?

      • ikesbox

         Exactly. No need to tell me what PNoy is doing, tell me what he has  done to put those responsible in jail. Short of that, no need to explain.

      • Hey_Dudes

        It must be your sense of understanding or lack of it.  Let me say it again to you.  You lament pnoy seems to have not done anything to the Ampatuans. Now, are you suggesting pnoy tell someone just to shoot these criminals and be done with due process which is one of the ugly part of being a democratic state?  Mahina ba ang IQ mo at hindi maintindihan na wala na sa presidente ang decision nito kungdi nasa korte na?  Bakit hindi si Judge Tolentino ang kalampagin mo at mabagal ang usog ng kanyang sala?

      • ikesbox

         Insulting me will not make your argument right. PNoy moved mountains to get Corona impeached and made GMA’s life a living h… Now you tell me he can’t find time to get justice for the massacre victims after 3 years? Come on. About my IQ? you don’t even come close.

      • CPCook

        This week, heaps upon heaps of comments were piled against the president as to why the trial is not yet over.  However, what I find interestingly missing are specific suggestions on what the president should be doing.  If we live in a dictatorship, perhaps PNoy could just have the suspects declared guilty and jailed accordingly. (BTW, most of the suspects are in detention.)  Granted that there are still some suspects not in custody, has anybody, most especially those criticizing the government, provided any information that would help the police?  I doubt it.  But the good thing is that we live in a democracy where there processes that guarantee human rights to every one. That same democracy makes justice heavily titled in favor of the accused (hence, the standard for conviction is guilt beyond reasonable doubt). That same kind of justice makes sure that all potential arguments that may exonerate anybody is dutifully heard by the judge. In this particular case, does anybody know how many motions have been raised by both the defense and the prosecution?  They are in the hundreds.  Did the author of this article even mention how many of these motions have been disposed?  No, but they are also in the hundreds.  True, the acquittal or conviction still probably years away, but that’s our system. For anybody who is complaining about the slow wheels of justice (this particular case only), please provide a suggestion on how to facilitate the matter.  Should the judge just deny any motions raised by the defense?  If so, how is that justice even for the victims if a conviction was obtained because the defense was not allowed to exhaust all potential avenues for acquittal?  I am not defending anybody, and just like everybody else, I want to see a conclusion on this saga, but the process takes time.  If anybody else has a suggestion, now is not the time to be timid.  However, if one is just about to complain that “3 years after, nobody has been convicted”, please stop whining as it only muddles the already complicated process.

      • ikesbox

         Thanks for the long reply for a short question. The massacre victims don’t have to come up with solutions,only justice,  it’s the government’s job and by extension the president (didn’t he promise an expeditious resolution to this). If I follow your line of thought, the case will be over when it is over ..at the judges and the prosecutors’ choosing. And the president is helpless about it, I don’t think so.

  • TuwadNaDaan

    Ano ba ang mapapala nyo kay Budoy PnoQ..?……………..HESALAYER…!!!

  • Maldi2

    Hayun, nagbubuhat na naman ng sariling bangko si Simoen sa mga extra judicial killings ng Media samantalang ang MIndanao Massacre na isa sa kanyang election promise na ipakulong ang mga salarin ay di man lang nabanggit! 

    Puro mga pambobola at panlilinlang lang talaga alam nitong Panot na ito!  PWE!

  • yesyesyo

    No matter what the critics say, the maguindanao massacre case is now under the jurisdiction of the courts.

    The president can not order the judge to give the decision within his term of office. Cases of murder really takes a long time even if there is only 1 suspect and 1 victim. The maguindanao massacre has more than 50 suspects including powerful personalities and more than 40 victims. this will take time to solve and it is expected that the decision will not be handed down during PNoy’s time.

    PNoy critics are just that, critics who want to express their bitterness in life. They dont fail to amuse me every day with their nonsense comments who clearly reflect what they are: LOSERS!

    • niceguy60

      He must have known the Ampatuans themselves. Otherwise why not rally the court and congress to convict the suspects? He did it before.

    • sopingac

      This is the problem when an adminsitration mainly relies on public relations rather than on solid fundamentals to run the government.

      Had Gloria been still President, Pnoy would not be silnet and I bet your opinion wouldn’t be the same.

    • sopingac

      I actually agree on the first paragraph but sees your opinion be different if Gloria is still the President.

    • Palku Kha

      sus! He is the President,he can execute his power para mapabilis ang kaso.obvious na di siya interesado sa kaso.yong post mo sinisisi mo na naman ang nakaraang administrasyon.mahilig talaga kayong manisi.pag pumalpak. may LOSERS ka pang nalalaman.ang totoo ang LOSERS dito ang mga kamag-anak sa biktima ng massacre.PORMA NG PORMA WALANG REPORMA! Hoy! gising!!!

  • boyod

    Syempre no word si Pinoy as to Maguindanao massacre. Bakit kalabin ba nya yung Ampatuan patriach na ina appoint ng kanyang mother. Dyusme namn kayo! 

    • yesyesyo

      Na naging mga halimaw sa 9 years corrupt regime ni arroyo.

      The 1986 revolutionary government replaced ALL incumbent local officials with officer in charge (OICs) to break the control of the ex dictator to local govenments.

      Many of those appointed first were later elected into office in the 1988 local elections and many, but certainly not all of them, became corrupt officials, among them the ampatuans.

  • Almighty Creator

    PNoy only exercises his will power to look good. This government only cares about popularity not genuine reform. That’s why a lot of people are so convinced that he is doing a lot of things. But a lot of people misses the point, in a country like the Philippines even if the constitution says there are 3 branches in the government, the executive virtually controls everything because it controls the budget. It is very evident with this admin as well. PNoy can send marching orders to Congress and Senate if he wishes too but turn blind when he doesnt. He used his political will to prosecute GMA and Corona, didnt he?. Not that I am not happy but this government is selective, not for genuine reforms but all for show. The worst part is his silence only proves that impunity continues and lack of interest in pursuing justice for the victims.       

    • sopingac

      This is what his blind followers cannot see. Seeing Pnoy relying on scripted pronouncements to attack Gloria is reason enough to question the capability of this President. No script is needed to attack a supposedly corrupt ex-President.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IJIUASZHAVUI2ADFY75TX5276A ALFREDO ALEX

    I have not heard anything from PNoy with regards the killing of Leonardo Co and his companions by the Philippine Army. I have not heard anything from the DOJ about this case. WHAT THE F*#CK IS THE REASON FOR THE SILENCE AND INACTION OF THE DOJ AND THE COMPLETE SILENCE OF PNOY REGARDING THIS CASE?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CRBW2RJR4WNWVIDZVSCLFQK4KQ Spike

    as suspected pnoy is beholden to the ampatuans because he needs them to pin down GMA on their fabricated cases of plunder and electioneering

    thus he is silent on the biggest massacre case of journalists in the history of the world

    • niceguy60

      Feasible.

    • sopingac

      Plausible. Plus they need the Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat votes now on their favor.

    • disqusted0fu

       that seems to be the center of his governance, pinning down GMA. for whatever reason only his unstable mind knows.

  • $23257130

    abnoy berdugo. pppppppeeeehhh kadri

  • Albert Einstien

    NAKU isinumpa na si Pnoy…delikado yan…tsk tsk

    NEWS:11/24/12   Tribesmen cast a spell on Aquino..!
    Indigenous people on Friday performed a “tuyada,” a ritual that involved prayers, cursing, slaughter of a live chicken and chanting of spells, in front of President Benigno Aquino III’ residence on Times Street in Quezon City.
    .

  • Stuubs

    The Ampatuan clan of Maguindanao, despite of their setbacks are stlll much alive and still a political power to reckon with in that province. Their family trade and craft of selling the winning votes to the highest bidder made them useful and precious to the  politicians. Putting them behind bars of murder, election,and other offences are not enough to cut their grip off that place… it is much more like of a mafia godfather running his business from behind bars.Politicians including Pnoy, are weighing in their options how to deal with the Ampatuans whether removed them or just put them back on the system for political use, so it will serve it’s purpose.  our criminal courts  are as corrupt as the comelec, that people can’t tell the difference between the two when the rich and influencial people are involved.

    • adamson11

      Sad but true… this is why we cannot get out of our sorry situation as the rich and the powerful willed their way unimpeded and this is not just in maguindanao province but all over the nation, you have andal ampatuan sr disguised in different clothes. This is also why the anti-dinasty bill will not be pass in the house chamber…. These people think that the philippines is meant to be ruled by the 20% feudal lord, this is sounding commie but hey why do you think npa is thriving in the far provinces.

  • sopingac

    The headline simply suggest that Pnoy has still no words to say because his PR team still hasn’t prepared the script for him to read. Perhaps blaming this again to Gloria would make even to his most loyal ally puke.

    The Ampatuans still weilds considerable power in Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat and 2013 elections is just around the corner. The political realities in this country just make it very hard for real change to happen. Good PR and making pronouncements just to make it appear he is control just wouldn’t reap tangible results.

    He won mainly of his parents name and the good PR job on translating peoples hatred on Gloria on his favor just won’t get the job done. They never did what was supposed to be expected in Tarlac so there is no reason why it should be too for the whole country.

    Pnoy may be a good man and Gloria may be corrupt but these alone really aren’t qualifications enough. His track record as a legislature in the lower house and the senate proves it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W2EUBVORJOQAYONIELNSJYWZJI ksafan0

    Pnoy has the habit of keeping quiet on things like this. Just like the rising criminality he’s so far been so quiet. For goodness sake, Pnoy do something two years of your term you just can’t blame ate Glo on this and why are you so quiet about crime. Can’t you do something? I agree you’re doing okay on the economy and reducing corruption but on these areas, you fail.

    • sopingac

      I wished I was wrong but I believed in since the beginning. Pnoy is not capable to be President and Gloria being corrupt doesn’t make him or qualify him to be one.

      The President is simply a puppet of those who actually made him President and the daily scripted pronouncements isn’t really surprising.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DFW5PTIGTXNRUX44FLV6LI5USM Bantay

    Pnoy vows justice to massacre victims.yan na naman ang ipapangako kasi mag i eleksyon na naman.sawa na ang taong bayan sa iyong mga pangako na napako! act like a President now! sayang ang PORMA kung walang REPORMA!!!

  • basilionisisa

    What is he to say, Mr Esguerra? The lesser he speaks about it, the better di ba, as it is now booked to be heard in court. For sure he is also excited as everyone about it. But, better not comment para walang masabi yung mga GMA camp, sabagay kahit walang sabihin tungkol dito si PNoy tiyak may sasabihin ang GMA supporters. Typical!

  • anton kinuton

    ano ba gustong marinig ng PDI reporter from the president? dapat sa korte siya magtanong ng update ng kaso, hindi sa presidente.

  • disqusted0fu

    when Aquino needs to address and talk about certain issues that concerns the country such as this so called massacre of the century, he shuts up. but when there are issues where he doesnt really need to talk or get involved, he runs his mouth non stop. there is something seriously wrong with this person

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BMQHSMAEDG5M3TUUCCXJPV3PLY Rosauro

    Philippine justice system is
    giving more weight to the super rich like the Ampatuans. This is to say that
    money talks; their money influences those who are prosecuting them. Why wait for
    the rest who are still unaccounted-for to face the court when after all the
    major accused-murderers are already in the custody of the government to face
    the court? This is like a fisherman who already caught the biggest fish to feed
    his family of nine hungry children but still wants to catch the small ones.
    Start in fullness the prosecution of the Ampatuans now and put them behind bars
    for the rest of their lives in order to provide justice to the families of
    those who were murdered. What evidence yet our law enforcers need when there
    are already evidences at hands?  After
    the prosecution of the primary suspects (the Ampatuans), then continue with the
    minor ones. Those who will be caught later-on will follow. The kind of justice
    we have is a laughing stock of all civilized nations. Why wait for the capture
    of all those who are still at large in order to prosecute the Ampatuans? This
    is madness of the highest order!!!!!There is no logic at all!!!

  • Marcial72

    Wala ng aasahan pa kay Pee, nasa LP na ang mga ampatwans kaya KKK na rin sila. KAPARTIDO. Tingnan mo si Cong. Qumbo nag LP lang abswelto na sa Globe-Asiatique scam.

  • Francis81

    Si Pweenoy pagdating sa masaker tikom ang bibig.  E pano si Pweenoy mismo at Tatay at Nanay niya ay sangkot sa mga masaker
    kaya tikom ang mga bibig niya. Pero pagdating sa TT bukas na bukas ang
    bunganga niya!

  • Guest

    what word are you expecting from aquino III? aquino III would be happy if all journalist would die.

  • Your_King

    Aquino travels abroad to other nations insulting with many words fpgma and offending the disabled yet he has no words for the massacre. Actually, enough words how about some action from Aquino and his Administration regarding this long delayed justice for the 58 victims and their families.

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