Andanar: Slow justice in Maguindanao massacre ignominious
A Malacañang official on Saturday lamented the slow grind of justice in the 10-year-old Maguindanao massacre, calling it “intolerable and ignominious,” and hoped for justice to prevail in the case.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar joined the commemoration of the gruesome killings that killed 58 people composed mostly of members of the Mangudadatu clan and members of the media.
The main suspects in the attack were members of the Ampatuan clan, rivals of the Mangudadatus.
The killings took place when the Mangudadatus were on their way to file a certificate of candidacy for Esmael Mangudadatu, who was challenging an Ampatuan for the post of Maguindanao governor.
“Ten years of delayed justice is intolerable and ignominious. We are hopeful that the law will prevail and the court will rule in favor of the victims’ families putting an end to the injustice they have had to endure for years, as the decision on the case will be out soon,” Andanar said.
He said the administration and the Presidential Task Force on Media Security would work to ensure that brutal killings such as those in the Maguindanao Massacre would not go unpunished for years.
They would also try to prevent similar incidents from taking place once more, he said.
“We will work to prevent and put an end to attacks on journalists, who are simply fulfilling their obligations to disseminate truth and information to the public. In cases where they are harmed or killed, we will aim to deliver swift justice and make the perpetrators answer to the law,” he added.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Liberal Party president, also decried the fact that there have been no convictions in the Maguindanao massacre case after 10 years, while some of the witnesses have been killed or have disappeared.
“The crime, brazenly committed in broad daylight, is another example of how painfully slow the Philippine wheels of justice turn,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
He blamed the culture of impunity for emboldening criminals and even state agents to brazenly kill people, and said it continued to prevail, particularly in the administration’s war on drugs.
“We decry the decade of impunity that has emboldened criminals, including state agents, to snuff life out of innocent citizens on whim. The thousands of suspected drug users and pushers murdered in various police operations are new testaments to the chronic impunity in the country. The chilling effect hounds us all,” Pangilinan said.
“We exhort the courts to speed up the cases against the victims. Justice for the victims and their families through rightful conviction will bring a flicker of hope to the other victims of killings, including those in the so-called drug war,” he added./lzb
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