MANILA – President Benigno S. Aquino III has called for a live coverage of the trial of the accused in the Maguindanao massacre even as he vowed that justice will be served to the victims of the kilings.
Aquino made the call as the country commemorated the first anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre in which 57 people, 32 of them media people, were killed by armed men identified with a powerful Muslim clan.
“It is one of the top priorities of the Justice Department. We will not rest until justice has been served,” Mr. Aquino said.
Mr. Aquino offered his condolences to the families of the victims and assured them that he will “do everything in our power to achieve a timely resolution of this case and ensure that this does not happen again.”
Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, whose wife, Jenalyn, was among those killed in the massacre, meanwhile, appealed for a speedy prosecution of the culprits, among them Andal Ampatuan, Jr., his supposed rival in the May 10 gubernatorial race in the province.
Mangudadatu said he wants all of the suspects in the massacre that are still on the run placed behind bars.
About 113 of the 196 people accused in the crime remained at large and have been wanted by laws.
In marking the first anniversary of the massacre, relatives of slain journalists took turns in expressing their grief and cried for justice to their loved ones as local officials, journalists from various parts of the country offered prayers.
A year after the massacre, the case is yet to be resolved. Former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., his sons – former Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Anmpatuan Jr. and Zaldy Ampatuan, the suspended governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, have been detained. Andal Anmpatuan Jr. is being tried and charged with several counts of murder.