Justice promised to victims of Maguindanao massacre

Posted at 08/03/14 2:37 PM

MANILA - Malacanang said the wheels of justice will continue to turn for the victims of the Maguindanao massacre amid the current impasse between the private and public prosecutors.

In an interview with radio dzRB, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the clashes between government and private prosecutors will not hamper the goal of achieving justice for the 58 massacre victims.

“Kung meron mang nag-e-express ng kanilang private views diyan, hindi naman po ito nagsisilbing pag-aantala sa pagiging masigasig ng pamahalaan na maresolba na ang kasong ito,” Coloma said.

Private prosecutors Nena Santos and Prima Jesusa Quinsayas slammed the government prosecutors’ move to rest its case against Andal Ampatuan Jr. and 27 others last week. Santos and Quinsayas said the action would hamper the presentation of more evidence.

Santos represents Maguindanao Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, whose wife and sisters were among those killed in the massacre, and 26 other complainants. Quinsayas, on the other hand, represents the families of 17 victims.

The country will commemorate the fifth anniversary of the massacre on November 23. The massacre is considered the worst election-related violence in the history of the Philippines. Of the number of victims, 32 are journalists.

Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan said only the two lawyers are complaining.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima earlier promised of a conviction before the end of President Aquino’s term.