April 27, 2010 in Featured
By NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS OF THE PHILIPPINES-Baguio-Benguet Chapter
“The decision of Justice Secretary Agra to drop the charges against Governor Zaldy Ampatuan and Akmad Ampatuan is extremely disturbing, indicating that what prevails in this country is not the rule of law but political expediency.”
23 April 2010
Acting Justice Secretary Alberto Agra set a bad precedent.
Acting Secretary Agra had blood dripping from his hands when he dropped the murder charges against ARMM Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan and Mayor Akmad Ampatuan, as if the gruesome death of 58 people was not enough evidence to prosecute the perpetrators of murder.
On the 5th month commemoration of the Ampatuan massacre, it is just but fitting to condemn the eroding justice system, particularly Acting Secretary Agra and the Arroyo administration, for coddling criminals who would be remembered in the history as political warlords who magnified the culture of impunity even more.
The Ampatuan massacre killed journalists, women, lawyers, all civilians. And we will never forget.
Agra did not only fail the families of the victims of the massacre, it also denied all the Filipino people of justice. The decision only proved that Filipinos have a long way to go for such a struggle, and a long way to go to lengthen their strings of sacrifices, to attain justice that will favor people who have less in power, but who have more in passion when it comes to fighting the unjust and corrupt.
The decision was not only a blow to the justice system, but a blow to the principles of justice as a whole. Justice is supposed to favor the truth, it is not supposed to strengthen a string of cover-ups that will only perpetuate and venerate lies at the behest of the abusive criminals.
The decision brings this call to forth THAT JUSTICE SHOULD BE REFORMED!
The images of violence the blood, the dead bodies sprawling on the forbidden forest that became a symbol of a gruesome tug-of-war between political warlords, shall forever haunt us.
The Ampatuans may be absolved of their criminal acts in the books of the Department of Justice, but not in the books of Justice of the Filipino people.
(Sgd) Desiree Caluza – director, NUJP national, secretary general, NUJP Baguio-Benguet
(SGD) Kathleen Okubo, chairperson, NUJP Baguio- Benguet Chapter #nordis.net