CHR calls for justice as nation awaits final verdict on Maguindanao massacre

Published November 23, 2019, 5:00 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Chito Chavez 

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Saturday said that justice has remained elusive for the Maguindanao massacre victims 10 years after the brutal incident.

Commission on Human Rights (MANILA BULLETIN)
Commission on Human Rights (MANILA BULLETIN)

CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia has called for justice to prevail as the nation awaits the final verdict on December 20, 2019.

She issued the call as the 10th anniversary of the massacre was remembered Saturday where the grieving family members of the victims exclaimed that no less than a conviction will grant them peace.

Claiming to have forgiven perpetrators of the mass killing, Maguindanao Rep. Ismael ‘’Toto’’ Mangudadatu, whose wife, two sisters and supporters were mercilessly killed in the massacre, even threatened to resign from his post if a guilty decision is not handed down.

On November 23, 2009 58 persons, which included 32 journalists, were killed in cold blood in Ampatuan, Maguindanao in what was labeled as the worst and bloodiest single incident of election-related violence world-wide.

“Sampung taon na ang nakalipas subalit wala pa ring kapanagutan ang pagkamatay ng 58 indibidwal, kabilang ang 32 mamamahayag, sa nangyaring Maguindanao massacre (Ten years have passed but there is still justice has not been served to the 58 victims which included 32 journalists),’’ the CHR said.

The CHR also urged that the justice system be further strengthened in the country and that government authorities enhance the protection mechanism for journalists.

The families of several of the victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre asked the Quezon City court handling the case to set the exact date for the resolution of the case after its request for a one month extension on handing down the verdict was granted by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Quezon City Regional Trial Court (QCRTC) Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes was given until December 20 to promulgate the judgment on the multiple murder case against more than a hundred people, including members of the Ampatuan clan.

A decision was supposed to have been due on November 22, but the judge requested an extension due to the voluminous records of the case.

However, the CHR said Solis-Reyes has yet to issue a notice of promulgation, which would indicate the date and venue of the anticipated event.

On Nov. 23, 2009, relatives and supporters of Mangudadatu accompanied by members of the media were on their way to file his candidacy for the governorship of Maguindanao when armed men blocked their path.

The members of the Mangudadatu convoy were reportedly forcibly brought to the hills of Sitio Masalay, shot using high-powered firearms and buried in shallow graves with the use of a backhoe.

Accompanied by journalists, the wife, relatives and supporters of then-Buluan vice mayor Mangudadatu were on their way to file his certificate of candidacy for the 2010 gubernatorial race when they were stopped, forced to the hills and shot dead.

Twenty of the victims were Mangudadatu family members and supporters, 32 were mediamen and six weren’t even part of the convoy.

The body of photojournalist Reynaldo Momay was never found.

Andal Ampatuan, Sr., patriarch of the powerful political family and his sons Unsay, Sajid, and Zaldy and 193 others were charged with 58 counts of murder.

Court records showed that 15 defendants were surnamed Ampatuan.

Of the original 197 accused, 80 remain at large.

One defendant was cleared for lack of probable cause, another was dropped from the amended charges, two were discharged as state witnesses and four were released due to insufficiency of evidence, court records show.

Eight of the accused have already died, including Andal Sr., who succumbed to liver cancer in 2015.

Out of all the people arraigned, 101 were left when trial wrapped up this year with the case being submitted for resolution on August 22.

 
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CHR calls for justice as nation awaits final verdict on Maguindanao massacre

Published November 23, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chito Chavez 

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Saturday said that justice has remained elusive for the Maguindanao massacre victims 10 years after the brutal incident.

Commission on Human Rights (MANILA BULLETIN)
Commission on Human Rights (MANILA BULLETIN)

CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia has called for justice to prevail as the nation awaits the final verdict on December 20, 2019.

She issued the call as the 10th anniversary of the massacre was remembered Saturday where the grieving family members of the victims exclaimed that no less than a conviction will grant them peace.

Claiming to have forgiven perpetrators of the mass killing, Maguindanao Rep. Ismael ‘’Toto’’ Mangudadatu, whose wife, two sisters and supporters were mercilessly killed in the massacre, even threatened to resign from his post if a guilty decision is not handed down.

On November 23, 2009 58 persons, which included 32 journalists, were killed in cold blood in Ampatuan, Maguindanao in what was labeled as the worst and bloodiest single incident of election-related violence world-wide.

“Sampung taon na ang nakalipas subalit wala pa ring kapanagutan ang pagkamatay ng 58 indibidwal, kabilang ang 32 mamamahayag, sa nangyaring Maguindanao massacre (Ten years have passed but there is still justice has not been served to the 58 victims which included 32 journalists),’’ the CHR said.

The CHR also urged that the justice system be further strengthened in the country and that government authorities enhance the protection mechanism for journalists.

The families of several of the victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre asked the Quezon City court handling the case to set the exact date for the resolution of the case after its request for a one month extension on handing down the verdict was granted by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Quezon City Regional Trial Court (QCRTC) Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes was given until December 20 to promulgate the judgment on the multiple murder case against more than a hundred people, including members of the Ampatuan clan.

A decision was supposed to have been due on November 22, but the judge requested an extension due to the voluminous records of the case.

However, the CHR said Solis-Reyes has yet to issue a notice of promulgation, which would indicate the date and venue of the anticipated event.

On Nov. 23, 2009, relatives and supporters of Mangudadatu accompanied by members of the media were on their way to file his candidacy for the governorship of Maguindanao when armed men blocked their path.

The members of the Mangudadatu convoy were reportedly forcibly brought to the hills of Sitio Masalay, shot using high-powered firearms and buried in shallow graves with the use of a backhoe.

Accompanied by journalists, the wife, relatives and supporters of then-Buluan vice mayor Mangudadatu were on their way to file his certificate of candidacy for the 2010 gubernatorial race when they were stopped, forced to the hills and shot dead.

Twenty of the victims were Mangudadatu family members and supporters, 32 were mediamen and six weren’t even part of the convoy.

The body of photojournalist Reynaldo Momay was never found.

Andal Ampatuan, Sr., patriarch of the powerful political family and his sons Unsay, Sajid, and Zaldy and 193 others were charged with 58 counts of murder.

Court records showed that 15 defendants were surnamed Ampatuan.

Of the original 197 accused, 80 remain at large.

One defendant was cleared for lack of probable cause, another was dropped from the amended charges, two were discharged as state witnesses and four were released due to insufficiency of evidence, court records show.

Eight of the accused have already died, including Andal Sr., who succumbed to liver cancer in 2015.

Out of all the people arraigned, 101 were left when trial wrapped up this year with the case being submitted for resolution on August 22.

 
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