Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Maguindanao massacre victim's kin fear for safety as suspects remain at large

One of the kins of a victim of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre expressed concern over their safety as some of the suspects in the multiple murder case remain free.
Lawyer Harry Roque, legal counsel of the victims' families, noted that former Salibo town Vice Mayor Datu Kanor Ampatuan roams around freely.

Former Maguindanao governor and Rep. Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu earlier labeled Datu Kanor as the "deadliest" among the suspects.
Edita Tiamzon, wife of slain journalist Daniel Tiamzon, said they just want to see the "main suspect" brought to justice.

"Masakit po sa amin kasi talagang 'yung... clan ng Ampatuan nandun pa rin po," Tiamzon told ANC's "Headstart" Wednesday.
(It is painful for us because... the Ampatuan clan is still there.)

"Masakit po sa amin. Hindi kami makagalaw nang maayos dahil tulad sa amin marami rin pong Muslim na hindi namin kilala kung sino 'yung mga kahalubilo namin d'yan po sa subdivision namin," she added.

(It is hard for us. We cannot move freely because there are many other Muslims that we do not know who we are mingling with in our subdivision.)

Citing a witness who used to report directly to Datu Kanor, Roque said the former Salibo vice mayor roams around freely without any effort to hide.

"Although Unsay (Ampatuan) by reputation is the most evil not far behind Unsay is this Datu Kanor and maybe he's even more evil because he has evaded the wheels of justice," Roque said in the same interview.

Tiamzon, meanwhile, said they are ready to forgive the other suspects who were just following orders.

"Wala naman po silang magawa kasi kaya ganun ang ginawa nila na sumunod lang po doon sa pinag-utos ng pinaka-killer po," Tiamzon said.

(They cannot do anything that is why they did that. They were just following the order of the main killer.)

Roque, on the other hand, stressed that all those directly involved in the shooting should be meted out with life sentences.
The Quezon City court in charge of the Maguindanao massacre case is set to issue a decision on Thursday.

A decade after the gruesome massacre which led to the death of 58 people, including 32 journalists, at least 80 of the 197 suspects remain at large. The Philippine National Police assured the relatives of the victims that they have intensified efforts against suspects that remain at large.