Journalists' group decries delayed justice in 2009 Maguindanao massacre

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 23 2019 06:04 PM

MANILA - Journalists on Saturday trooped to Mendiola to denounce the delayed resolution of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre - the Philippines' deadliest election-related killing that left 58 people dead, including 32 media workers.

They helped paint a mural that called for press freedom and decried impunity. They also mounted a makeshift stand that bore pictures of the massacre victims.

 

"Ten years after the shocking massacre, justice has still eluded the families of the victims," National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) president Nonoy Espina said.

"Ako'y umaasa na--at kasama ng pamilya ng mga biktima--na mako-convict talaga itong mga pangunahing salarin lalo 'yung magkapatid na Ampatuan," he said.

(I am hoping -- together with the victims' families -- that the primary suspects will be convicted, especially the Ampatuan siblings.)

The Maguindanao massacre took place on November 23, 2009 after a convoy en route to file the certificate of candidacy of then Maguindanao gubernatorial candidate Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu was strafed by armed men.

Mangudadatu was, at the time, challenging the long-ruling Ampatuan clan for governorship of Maguindanao.

The convoy's passengers - mostly journalists and female relatives of Mangudadatu - were gunned down and dumped in a shallow grave in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao.

Witnesses testified that members of the Ampatuan family, the Mangudadatus' rival political clan in Maguindanao, masterminded the crime.

A Quezon City court is expected to release its ruling by December.