Duterte vows justice for victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre
President Duterte promised the kin of the Maguindanao massacre victims that they would get justice during his watch when he met with them in Malacañang on Thursday, the eighth anniversary of the killings.
Mr. Duterte directed Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, the state prosecutors, and the Presidential Task Force on Media Security to take steps to ensure that a conviction would be handed down soon, according to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
At the same time, Mr. Duterte, a former prosecutor, shared his thoughts on the justice system, including the fact that the accused have a right to be heard, which is sacred in a democracy.
“Nevertheless, he expressed optimism that the strength of the case against them—188 respondents in all—will eventually lead to a verdict favorable to the victims,” Roque added.
He described the meeting as “cordial, candid and impassioned.”
Mr. Duterte also committed to arrange employment, scholarships and financial assistance for the families, he said.
He also said the administration would see to it that there would be justice for all victims of violence against members of the working press.
Earlier, Roque said a verdict could be handed down soon since the cases against several of the accused had been submitted for resolution.
He said he would continue to push for the first in-first out practice in handing down a decision on the accused.
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