Prayer in Iloilo on eve of Ampatuan ruling: ‘Justice to reign even if delayed’
ILOILO CITY—Journalists and church leaders here and Iloilo province on Wednesday (Dec. 18) assembled for ecumenical prayers and called for justice for victims of the Ampatuan massacre on the eve of the promulgation of the 10-year case against key members of the Ampatuan clan and their henchmen.
They gathered in front of the statue of Ilonggo journalist and patriot Dr. Graciano Lopez Jaena at the Jaro District public plaza in an assembly that was timed with the commemoration of his 163rd birth anniversary.
The Quezon City Regional Trial Court is scheduled to promulgate its decision on the Ampatuan massacre on Thursday (Dec. 19).
Fifty-eight persons, including 32 media workers, were gunned down on Nov. 23, 2009 in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao in what is considered as the world’s worst single attack against journalists. The mass murder is also considered as the country’s worst election-related violence.
Msgr. Meliton Oso, executive director of the Jaro Archdiocese Social Action Center, in his prayer appealed for justice amid a growing number of people being killed “like chickens.”
“We wait for the judgment on the crime that happened 10 years ago. We ask, Lord, that they will be given justice,” Oso said.
“We pray that we will not close our eyes and be deaf to the injustice and the human rights violations happening around us and be brave like Graciano Lopez Jaena,” he said.
“We pray that justice will still reign even if delayed,” said Fr. Joevy Publico of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente.
Pastor Jec Dan Borlado, of the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches, cited the essential role of journalists in reporting the truth and the risks they face including getting killed and other attacks.
Edited by TSB
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