Agra Should Resign – Bayan

News Release
April 19, 2010

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today called for the resignation of Acting Justice Secretary Alberto Agra, saying his continued presence at the Department of Justice undermines the case against the suspects in the Maguindanao massacre.

“Secretary Agra has arrogated upon himself the job of absolving two of the principal suspects in the most heinous crime against journalists in history. His continued presence at the Department of Justice will only undermine the case. Even DOJ prosecutors are up in arms over the dropping of charges against the two Ampatuans,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“Agra does not enjoy the confidence of the victims, the private and public prosecutors and most of all the public. He must resign,” Reyes said.

Bayan challenged President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to sack Agra in the wake of the outrage over the incident.

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“Malacanang keeps saying they have nothing to do with the Agra decision. Yet Malacanang has not lifted a finger to address public outrage over what has happened. At the minimum, not doing anything means Malacanang approves of the Agra resolution. No matter how you look at it, Malacanang is a party to this gross injustice,” Reyes said.

Bayan said that it will join protest actions to mark the fifth month since the Maguindanao massacre of November 22, 2009.

“It is clear that no justice can be achieved for the victims of the massacre under the Arroyo administration. It’s history of collaboration and accommodation of the suspects, and the absence of any effective track record of prosecuting other suspects in extrajudicial killings, are the main factors why justice will remain elusive,” Reyes added.

Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
Bayan Secretary General

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