• MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE

    Victims decry slow justice

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    Several relatives of the victims of the Maguindanao massacre decried the slow resolution of the case and called on President Rodrigo Duterte to help them attain justice.

    “We ask the administration of President Duterte not to let this drag on longer because nothing happened in the previous administrations. PNoy (President Benigno Aquino promised that our dead relatives will be given justice before he steps down. But he already stepped down and nothing happened,” Noemi Parcon, the widow of Joel, one of the 32 journalists killed on November 23, 2009, said.

    She expressed hope that the case will be resolved during Duterte’s term.

    “Seven years is long…we are dying, we are already old. Until now justice has not been given to our husbands. I am ill, will I die without my husband attaining justice?” she added.

    Ramonita Salaysay, widow of Napoleon, echoed Parcon’s statement.

    “I am upset with the previous administration, President Noynoy Aquino promised us that we will get the justice we have been longing for. But his term ended without anything happening, without us attaining justice,” she said.

    Ma. Cipriana Gatchalian, the widow of Jun, a member of a newspaper in Davao City, also sought Duterte’s help.

    “All the evidence is there, what are they still looking for? It seems like they let justice sleep, there is no justice for our loved ones who were killed like they were not humans. That crime was abominable,” she said.

    Catherine Nuñez, the mother of UNTV reporter Victor Nunez, said she hopes that they can attain justice before Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd’s term ends.

    Alejandro Reblando Jr. said they do not know if they will ever get justice.

    “How many more administrations will pass? How many more promises will be given to us? I hope that in the Duterte administration, our loved ones will attain justice,” he said.

    In 2009, 58 people including 32 journalists were slain on their way to the Commission on Elections office in Shariff Aguak for the filing of the certificate of candidacy of then Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu who was running against the powerful Ampatuan clan in the 2010 gubernatorial race.

    Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque has filed a bill that seeks to declare November 23 as national day to commemorate the massacre and to remember all human rights violations.

    “The right to satisfaction includes the right to be recognized as a victim, the right to be remembered. And that is why I hope the bill will become law,” the lawmaker said.

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