MANILA, Philippines – Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said she will consider herself a failure if by 2016 there is still no conviction of the principal accused in the Maguindanao massacre case.
“It’s a challenge of the President to DOJ to set the target for conviction of the principal accused within his administration… which is not impossible,” De Lima told reporters Monday.
“I will consider myself as a failure as Justice Secretary kung walang mangyayari sa kaso na yan, kahit isa walang ma-convict bago matapos ang administration ni PNoy (if none would be convicted before the term of Aquino expires),” she said.
As many as 58 people, mostly journalists and members of the Mangudadatu political clan, were killed in what has been internationally known as the most brutal election-related violence at a single time.
Principal accused in the case are members of the Ampatuan clan including its patriarch, Andal Sr. (former Maguindanao Governor), Andal Jr. (former Datu Unsay Mayor), and Zaldy Ampatuan (former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor).
There are over 190 accused in the case.