MANILA - Malacañang said President Aquino is no “king of impunity,” taking exception to the label given to him by cause-oriented groups as the anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre approaches.
Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said the executive is doing what it can to find justice for the victims of the massacre.
“Tila kalabisan naman po ‘yan at walang batayan. Suriin po natin ang ibig sabihin ng salitang ‘impunity.’ Ang ibig sabihin mo ng ‘impunity’ ay walang habas na nagaganap ito, hindi tinututulan ng otoridad, hindi gumagawa ng karampatang aksyon upang pigilin ang krimen. Makatuwiran bang sabihin ito tungkol sa kasalukyang administrasyon?” Coloma said.
The Palace expressed solidarity anew with the victims’ kin.
“We join the Filipino people in affirming our solidarity with the families of those who lost their lives in the Maguindanao massacre on November 23, 2009. We are determined to erase the stigma of the culture of impunity that led to this heinous crime,” he said.
Coloma said President Aquino has directed the Philippine National Police “to intensify efforts to arrest some 88 suspects still at large” while the Department of Justice “strengthens” its investigative and prosecutorial functions.
He said the Palace could only do so much, pointing out that the resolution of the case largely depends now on the judiciary.
“Kaisa po kami nila. Sino po ba ang hindi uhaw para sa kataranguan?” Coloma said.
“Kami po ay kaisa nila doon. Hindi naman po namin ikinatutuwa na tumagal ang prosesong ganoon. Pansinin din po natin. Itong kaso na ito involves an unprecedented number of accused, an unprecedented number of witnesses, an unprecedented number of motions being filed by a large number of lawyers. Kabi-kabila pong motions. Lahat pong ito ay ipino-proseso ng ating criminal justice system, ipino-proseso ng ating judiciary. At kinikilala naman po natin ang separation of powers. Hindi pupwedeng panghimasukan ng ehekutibo ‘yung judicial process. Kaya nga po ang ginagawa ng pamahalaan ‘yung sakop ng kanyang kapangyarihan.”
Coloma said the Palace also supports amendments to the Rules of Court to “hasten the delivery of justice.”
“We will work with Congress to prioritize action on the enactment of the proposed whistleblower bill and amendments to strengthen the witness protection law,” he added.