“We are frustrated with the slow pace of the trial. It is disheartening that justice lies in the hands of those who are powerful, yet, they are not doing anything about it.” – CEGP-Ilocos Sur
By JOAN GARCIA
VIGAN CITY – Journalists and members of campus publications held a short program at Plaza Salcedo to commemorate the fourth year anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre.
During the program, candles were placed around the banner where the names of the victims were written. Fifty-eight paper cranes were also placed to symbolize the number of those brutally killed.
According to Jonathan Cadago, vice chair of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines Ilocos Sur, four years is a long time to wait for justice to be served.
“We are frustrated with the slow pace of the trial. It is disheartening that justice lies in the hands of those who are powerful, yet, they are not doing anything about it. Today, we must remember that those who were killed had aspirations for themselves, their families and their country. When they died, those aspirations were buried with them. We continue our call for justice for the victims of the massacre”, Cadago said.
Arlon Serdenia, chair of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines- Ilocos Sur, said that it has been 1,461 days since the massacre happened. Yet, out of the 197 suspects, only 104 have been arraigned.
“When President Aquino came into power, he said that under his tuwid na daan governance the case will be prioritized. Three witnesses have already been killed. The plight of journalists even continues to worsen under Aquino. During his term, six journalists are killed every year, higher than Ramos’, Arroyo’s and Estrada’s administration”, Serdenia said.
CEGP Ilocos Sur Secretary-General Ricardo Haduca called for the culture of impunity to end. According to Ricardo, the call for justice is not just for the Maguindano massacre victims but all victims of human rights violations in the country.