Massacre witnesses urged: Accept gov't protection

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 28 2012 05:25 PM | Updated as of Jun 29 2012 01:25 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang is asking all witnesses of the Maguinanao massacre to accept the government’s offer of security.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that the latest witness reportedly killed had “politely turned down” the government’s offer of security.
“It’s unfortunate that it happened and that’s why we are urging all the witnesses of the Maguindanao massacre to accept the security offer from the government. And we would like to reiterate that offer to the witnesses, knowing that there is an attempt to your lives. Please, we would ask you again to accept our offer of security,” Lacierda said in a press briefing.
“Those who have been provided security are still alive and that’s why we are urging those who have refused to accept security to accept our offer of security again,” he added.
Lacierda recalled that President Aquino had committed to offer security to the witnesses and their families during a dialogue with their relatives held in July last year at the Palace. 
He said the government could not monitor the whereabouts of witnesses who refused security.
“I don’t think you can blame government. We have offered (security). It’s unfortunate it happened and I certainly condole with the family of the murdered victim. But again, the government has offered security,” Lacierda said.
During the press conference, Lacierda also asked the Supreme Court, through its Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, to “find a way” to hasten the court proceedings “without sacrificing due process.”