Maguindanao massacre victims’ kin want definite promulgation date
MANILA, Philippines – On the eve of the first decade since the gruesome Maguindanao massacre took place, the families of the victims, in a manifestation, asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 to set a definite promulgation date.
The families said that while they commiserate with the Court’s predicament particularly on the voluminous records and pieces of evidence concerning the case, their “feelings of continuing anguish… for every single day that passes without justice being served” should also be considered.
Citing Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the families argued their “right to an effective remedy… especially since it was the right to life of their family members” that was violated.
“Private Complainants (the families) have already endured 10 years in order to wait for the Decision in these consolidated criminal cases,” they said in the manifestation.
The Supreme Court earlier granted Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes a one-month extension to resolve the Maguindanao massacre case.
A decision on the case was supposed to be promulgated last November 20.
But with the granting of the extension, a decision must be announced not later than December 20.
The massacre – dubbed as the worst single-attack on journalists in the world – took place when a convoy of journalists and family members of the Mangudadatu clan was making its way to the provincial Commission on Elections office to file then-Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu’s certificate of candidacy for governor when they were waylaid allegedly by members and henchmen of the rival Ampatuan clan.
58 individuals, including 32 members of the media were killed in the attack.