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Justice in sight, finally

"The long wait showcased the travesty of criminal justice procedures and the litigation process in the country."

 

The nation anxiously awaits the verdict on the Ampatuan, Maguindanao massacre case scheduled to be handed down by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 presided by Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.

We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to permit the live simulcast media coverage of the much anticipated culmination of agonizing fight justice for the 58 victims and their aggrieved families.

It is indescribable what extreme mental, emotional and physical suffering those families have gone through as they marked the 10th anniversary of the monstrous crime last Nov. 23, a political violence that shocked the whole world. The bereaved families had to wait as the RTC asked the high court for more time to arrive at a verdict on the case.

The long wait showcased the travesty of criminal justice procedures and the litigation process in the country. 

One cannot imagine the 10-year ordeal the families of the defenseless 58 victims in Ampatuan, including 34 media members, who were waylaid by over 100 heavily armed men some months before the 2010 elections. 

It is significant that finally justice will be served under this administration which has proven to champion the underdog.

Meanwhile, the reopening of the Mamasapano Massacre otherwise known as the SAF44 Massacre is being sought by the widowed families of the slain policemen as represented by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption. 

Incidentally, this other case of mass killings also took place in Maguindanao.

We support their plea to indict Noynoy Aquino, for plotting the disastrous Oplan Exodus along with ex-police generals Alan Purisima and Getulio Napeñas.

The two cases of massacre dramatically demonstrate the grossly rotten and most hateful state of our justice system, particularly its prejudice against crime victims.

Just as horrifying is the tragedy of the 44 commandos of the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police among those contingents ordered to implement the evil designs of Aquino and Purisima.

These nincompoops sent the SAF who ended up as sitting ducks in the territory of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and other rebel groups, and left the cops to die without reinforcement. 

They should see their day in court and made to answer for their cold-blooded crime with the appropriate charges.

Justice seems elusive for the SAF44 families. How much longer will they have to fight and wait in agony?

Still in many cases, it seems impossible to have the rich and powerful criminals to bring to justice and pay for their transgressions. They cannot be easily arrested, detained and charged in court as they are always assisted by private lawyers. 

Signs of change bodes hopes for judicial, as well as criminal justice reforms, during the current administration.

We can only hope that the wind of change would usher in an era of truth and justice.

Topics: Erwin Tulfo , Ampatuan , Maguindanao massacre , Quezon City Regional Trial Court , Supreme Court , SAF44 Massacre
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