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By Isabel Escoda
In contrast to the Philippines where the case of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre seems to be in limbo, India is fast-tracking its trial of the New Delhi gang rape. Like the massacre allegedly perpetrated by members of the powerful Ampatuan clan and their minions, the gang rape has drawn publicity and condemnation worldwide, especially since it exposed the long-entrenched patriarchal practice in India of viewing female members of society as second-class citizens. Females in the country known as the world’s largest democracy have traditionally been subjected to sexual abuse, with the perpetrators usually going scot-free.
The Dec. 1, 2012, editorial on the Maguindanao massacre (“Crime Philippines?”) hit the proverbial nail on the head when it stressed an evident truth: Not only journalists but also ordinary citizens have been victimized by various forms of criminality in what appears to be a breakdown of law and order across the country.
In the wake of yet another mass shooting in the United States, this time made more horrific by its target—children, 20 of whom died in the hail of bullets, all of them aged six to seven and each one shot multiple times—quite a number of Filipino netizens took to their Facebook or Twitter not only to voice shock and sadness at the tragedy but also to harrumph rather indelicately.
By Juan L. Mercado
MARY AS bridge of differing faiths is welcomed by Miflora Gatchalian who commented on “A thousand faces” (Viewpoint, 12/8/12). “Ibongpipit” e-mailed: This approach helps foster “commonality because… ecumenism and dialogue are always” challenging.
By Artemio V. Panganiban
The Supreme Court knows only too well that our people are carefully watching how the Maguindanao massacre trial is handled. Without breaching the basic rights of the accused, the Court has tried to assuage public anxiety, by closely monitoring the proceedings and by issuing press statements detailing the progress of the cases.
THE MORO Islamic Liberation Front has agreed in helping the government look for the remaining Maguindanao massacre suspects who are still at large. The offer was made by Ghadzali Jaafar, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s vice chair for political affairs. This shows that the MILF is sincere and willing to help the government. It [...]
Following the cue of Sen. Joker Arroyo, who like me is a Diamond Jubilarian (Class ’52) of the UP College of Law, I would like to offer, perhaps officiously, the following observations regarding the Maguindanao trial:
By Conrado de Quiros
It’s no easy matter, but I don’t know that we really have much choice in it. The Ampatuans have every right to run in the elections.
By Isagani Zarate
The glaring non-mention of the infamous Ampatuan massacre in President Aquino’s speech at the 9th Media Nation Summit last Friday in Tagaytay City revealed how the administration is taking the issue of impunity three years after 58 innocent lives were mercilessly murdered in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao province.
By Randy David
In the wake of the shocking Nov. 23, 2009, massacre in Maguindanao, the Ampatuan patriarch and his sons, the principal suspects in this heinous crime, began a frantic search for sharp lawyers who would take up their case and defend them. One of those sounded out was my brother Dante, a litigation lawyer with many years of experience in criminal law. He did not know any of the Ampatuans, but he knew many of those who had been initially hired for this difficult case. A huge acceptance fee was hinted. My brother turned it down without hesitation, politely saying he already had a crowded schedule.
The worst episode of election-related violence in our history, the deadliest single assault on the media recorded in the world, the most brutal display of impunity in memory—and yet three years after the horrific massacre in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao, the powerful family that ordered it has not only successfully delayed criminal conviction, it also remains very much a political force in the province.
By Conrado de Quiros
On the face of it, the Supreme Court decision to ban the airing of the Maguindanao massacre trial seems reasonable. “While this court recognizes the freedom of the press and the right to public information…. the rights of the direct parties should not be forgotten. In a clash among these competing interests and in terms of the values the Constitution recognizes, jurisprudence makes it clear that the balance should always be weighed in favor of the accused. Live TV has no place in a criminal trial.”