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By Artemio V. Panganiban
Unknown to many, the Supreme Court issued “motu proprio” (on its own volition) a resolution, dated Dec. 10, 2013 (a copy of which I got a few days ago), instituting five new measures or guidelines to speed up the Maguindanao massacre trial.
By Conrado de Quiros
Only a few weeks ago, we marked the fourth anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre.
I read with interest the news reports and comments on the “delayed” Maguindanao massacre trial. Notably, former minister of justice Estelito Mendoza opined on the need for the present justice secretary and the prosecutors to get their act together (“DOJ and the Ampatuan trial,” Letters, 12/2/13). A private prosecutor, lamenting the very slow pace of [...]
All over media can be heard the agonizing lament of the victims’ kin, and perhaps the entire citizenry, that four years after the horrific Maguindanao massacre, the conclusion of the criminal cases filed against those allegedly liable is not even in sight.
By Michael L. Tan
Last November 23 was the fourth anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre and it passed almost unnoticed, given that everyone was thinking more about relief and rehabilitation work.
It has been four years since 58 people, 32 of them media workers, were slaughtered on a hilltop in Sitio (sub-village) Masalay, Barangay (village) Salman,
Ampatuan, Maguindanao, in what is now acknowledged as the worst incident of electoral violence in recent Philippine history and the single deadliest attack on the media on record.
Nineteen journalists have been killed for their work in the Philippines since Benigno Aquino III assumed the presidency in 2010. And in 2013 alone, at least 66 instances of threats, physical assaults, illegal arrests, libel suits and other forms of harassment were recorded.
By Neal H. Cruz
See what lenient gun control laws do to countries like the United States? More and more often, a wacko pulls out a gun and starts shooting innocent civilians, including young schoolchildren. The latest weirdo to do this was Paul Anthony Ciancia who pulled out an assault rifle at Terminal 3 of the Los Angeles International Airport and started shooting. One Transport Security Administration agent was killed and three others wounded before police shot and arrested the gunman.
A greater harm the pork barrel scam may have inflicted on the Filipino people is that it has obscured in, if not erased from, their consciousness the most cruel, barbaric and despicable crime ever committed in Southern Philippines. I am referring to the Maguindanao massacre that shocked the country on Nov. 23, 2009.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) decries the order to detain potential witness Bong Andal with the Ampatuans at Camp Bagong Diwa. The NUJP is seriously concerned over the impending transfer of Bong Andal, the confessed backhoe operator and applicant for state witness, to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, to be detained there with the primary accused in the Nov. 23, 2009 Ampatuan massacre.
The inordinate delay in the delivery of justice for the victims of the Ampatuan (Maguindanao) massacre and the recent revelations of the backhoe driver used in that monstrous atrocity exemplify how impunity can run through from one administration to the next; in this case from regimes Arroyo to Aquino. Despite the people’s outrage and more than three years after the massacre, a key government policy that made it possible, Executive Order No. 546, has yet to be revoked by President Aquino.
The news that relatives of 14 victims of the gruesome Maguindanao massacre are ready to settle with the family of the principal accused is sobering. It alerts us to the financial and even security risks that many of the victims’ families face from day to day. And it reminds us, yet again, that the wheels of justice in the Philippines do grind exceedingly slow.