House officials reject further delay in Maguindanao massacre verdict

Published November 23, 2019, 7:29 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Ben Rosario

House Deputy Speaker Michael “Mikee” Romero on Saturday urged judicial authorities to turn down any new request for another extension on the release of the Maguindanao massacre verdict.

House of the Representatives (ALVIN KASIBAN / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE PHOTO)
House of the Representatives (ALVIN KASIBAN / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE PHOTO)

Romero aired the appeal as opposition and administration congressmen issued separate statements commemorating on Saturday the Maguindanao incident that left 58 unarmed civilians, mostly journalists, dead.

Deputy Minority Leader Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna said the government has apparently failed to learn any lesson about the incident. He noted that an executive order allowing the arming of civilian volunteers of local officials has yet to be repealed.

On the other hand, ACTS-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap said justice is always “worth the wait” but not as long as 10 years.

Romero, representative of 1PACMAN Partylist to the House of Representatives, noted that the delay in the release of the court decision will contradict the principle of “justice delayed is justice denied.”

“Loved ones and relatives of the 58 victims who were murdered in Maguindanao 10 years ago are being made to suffer the same degree of anguish and pain each day of delay,” the Lower House official said in a statement.

“There should be an end to the mental torture still being inflicted on them up to this day,” stated Romero, president of the Partylist Coalition Foundaiton, Inc.

In the same statement, Romero cited Maguindanao Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, whose wife, Genalyna and three sisters were among those mercilessly killed by a group of heavily armed men, allegedly led by Datu Unsay Ampatuan.

“Notwithstanding the fact that he is likewise a victim, Congressman Toto has been helping the family of other massacre victims who were the breadwinners before they met their untimely demise,” said Romero.

“We are praying that December 20, the day the court will hand down the verdict, will be the day that the Maguindanao massacre victims will finally find justice that has eluded them and their families over the years,” said Romero.

Zarate sought the repeal of Executive Order 546 which allows local officials to arm civilian volunteers.

The opposition leader said EO 546, issued in 2006 by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, should now be rescinded as this can be abused.

“It was the same Executive Order cited by the Ampatuans to justify the existence of its ‘private army’ to consolidate its dynastic hold of  Maguindanao and the ARMM but in the guise of supposedly fighting the Moro rebels,” said Zarate.

For his part, Yap warned that what the delay in the release of the court decision achieved so far was how the justice system in the country is being pictured – crooked and slow.

Yap lamented that many of reasons for the delay in the resolution of the cases were caused by the accused.

Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman also aired serious misgivings over the delay of the resolution of the case.

“Ten years have passed and yet no justice has been served to the families and friends of all those who perished in the Maguindanao Massacre, a majority of whom are from the media,” he noted.

“I call on the court of law hearing the merits of this case to finally put an end to this dark chapter in our history. This is a very unfortunate incident that gave our country the unsavory distinction of being one of the worst places for journalists and media freedom,” Hataman appealed.

 
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House officials reject further delay in Maguindanao massacre verdict

Published November 23, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ben Rosario

House Deputy Speaker Michael “Mikee” Romero on Saturday urged judicial authorities to turn down any new request for another extension on the release of the Maguindanao massacre verdict.

House of the Representatives (ALVIN KASIBAN / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE PHOTO)
House of the Representatives (ALVIN KASIBAN / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE PHOTO)

Romero aired the appeal as opposition and administration congressmen issued separate statements commemorating on Saturday the Maguindanao incident that left 58 unarmed civilians, mostly journalists, dead.

Deputy Minority Leader Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna said the government has apparently failed to learn any lesson about the incident. He noted that an executive order allowing the arming of civilian volunteers of local officials has yet to be repealed.

On the other hand, ACTS-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap said justice is always “worth the wait” but not as long as 10 years.

Romero, representative of 1PACMAN Partylist to the House of Representatives, noted that the delay in the release of the court decision will contradict the principle of “justice delayed is justice denied.”

“Loved ones and relatives of the 58 victims who were murdered in Maguindanao 10 years ago are being made to suffer the same degree of anguish and pain each day of delay,” the Lower House official said in a statement.

“There should be an end to the mental torture still being inflicted on them up to this day,” stated Romero, president of the Partylist Coalition Foundaiton, Inc.

In the same statement, Romero cited Maguindanao Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, whose wife, Genalyna and three sisters were among those mercilessly killed by a group of heavily armed men, allegedly led by Datu Unsay Ampatuan.

“Notwithstanding the fact that he is likewise a victim, Congressman Toto has been helping the family of other massacre victims who were the breadwinners before they met their untimely demise,” said Romero.

“We are praying that December 20, the day the court will hand down the verdict, will be the day that the Maguindanao massacre victims will finally find justice that has eluded them and their families over the years,” said Romero.

Zarate sought the repeal of Executive Order 546 which allows local officials to arm civilian volunteers.

The opposition leader said EO 546, issued in 2006 by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, should now be rescinded as this can be abused.

“It was the same Executive Order cited by the Ampatuans to justify the existence of its ‘private army’ to consolidate its dynastic hold of  Maguindanao and the ARMM but in the guise of supposedly fighting the Moro rebels,” said Zarate.

For his part, Yap warned that what the delay in the release of the court decision achieved so far was how the justice system in the country is being pictured – crooked and slow.

Yap lamented that many of reasons for the delay in the resolution of the cases were caused by the accused.

Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman also aired serious misgivings over the delay of the resolution of the case.

“Ten years have passed and yet no justice has been served to the families and friends of all those who perished in the Maguindanao Massacre, a majority of whom are from the media,” he noted.

“I call on the court of law hearing the merits of this case to finally put an end to this dark chapter in our history. This is a very unfortunate incident that gave our country the unsavory distinction of being one of the worst places for journalists and media freedom,” Hataman appealed.

 
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