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You are here: Home News Blog Mindanao News Blog Aquino is accountable for failure of justice in Ampatuan massacre case, lawyers group says

Aquino is accountable for failure of justice in Ampatuan massacre case, lawyers group says

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The Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM) today criticized President Benigno Aquino III for “dismally failing in his electoral campaign promise of giving justice to the Ampatuan massacre victims.”

The statement was in response to the reported amicable settlement for P50 million pesos between representatives of the victims’ families and an emissary of the Ampatuan clan, whose members have been tagged as the masterminds of the gruesome carnage in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao  on November 23, 2009.

“President Aquino owes his presidency to a sacred promise of curbing impunity by, among others,  seeing through the successful prosecution of the accused Ampatuan patriarch and scions,” lawyer Emiliano Deleverio, UPLM chairperson said.

“He owes a debt of justice to the Maguindanao massacre victims,” Deleverio added.

 

Deleverio said that “President Aquino’s ‘daang matuwid’ never took the direction towards justice for the victims; it’s actually a crooked path towards the unmistakeable acquittal and political rehabilitation of the Ampatuans.”

“Pres. Aquino claimed the impeachment trial of deposed Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona is a showcase of his resolve to stamp out impunity.  But that claim is self-serving; it was not the trial of the century.  The case that will define the Aquino presidency is the Ampatuan massacre trial. It is emblematic of the state of impunity sweeping the country  -- an infamous landmark case that is a blot on the issue of human rights and press freedom all over the world,” Deleverio said.

“Aquino has committed 3 interconnected monumental failures: first, the inability to round up and debilitate the Ampatuan private army and the clan’s political clout; second, the absence of compassion, financial support, and protection to victims’ families; and, third, its bungled and lost cases in the prosecution of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the Ampatuan’s patron,” Deleverio said.

“The State is complicit in the Maguindanao massacre. It is the State’s ‘force multiplier scheme’ against insurgency which turned the Ampatuan political machinery into Frankenstein as it poured in arms and funds to its private armies. This included training and protection from a doting Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP),” Deleverio criticized.

Deleverio said UPLM will continue its vigilance over the trial even as witnesses and families have been threatened and have been disgruntled with the developments of the case.

Among the 58 victims was Atty. Connie Brizuela, who was the UPLM treasurer when the massacre took place.   UPLM members were among those who immediately responded and extended legal assistance to some relatives of the victims. Lack of financial resources, though,  prevented UPLM from actively participating the in the trial when its venue was transferred in Manila.

Deleverio also reiterated the need to allow live media coverage of the trial “as this is one effective way of exacting accountability from the government whether it has the political will to attain justice for the Ampatuan massacre victims or is letting the Ampatuans off the hook.”

Ref: Atty. Emiliano Deleverio 0917 327 7107

UPLM

Union of Peoples' Lawyers in Mindanao

c/o BZB Law, 2F Valdevieso Building, Ecoland Drive

8000 Davao City PHILIPPINES

Telefax +63 082 2976499

lawyersmindanao@gmail.com

 

InPeace Mindanao

Initiatives for Peace in Mindanao

Rm. 101 Kalinaw Center for Interfaith Resources

13 Francisco Avenue, Juna Subdivision, Matina, 8000, Davao City

Philippines

 

telefax: +63.82.299.4964

email: inpeace.info@yahoo.com

web: www.kalinaw.com.ph

ok: inpeacemindanao

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 August 2013 19:19 )