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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
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NOV 23: MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE ANNIVERSARY - 6 YEARS ON, VICTIMS' KIN STILL CRYING FOR JUSTICE


NOVEMBER 23 -Common Grave: A man looks on as the site where victims of the Maguindanao massacre were buried is spruced up. Families of the victims and members of the media will mark the sixth anniversary of the massacre today with plaintive calls for the speedy resolution of the case. Contributed photo
 Today, there will be the usual offering of prayers and flowers as the country remembers a dark blotch in its history: the cold-blooded murder of 58 people, 32 of them members of media. Six years after the Maguindanao massacre, the families of those mowed down by a powerful clan continue to mourn and seek justice. Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, whose wife Gennalyn was among those killed, vowed to continue the quest for justice.“We vowed before the shallow graves of our loved ones to continue the fight for justice. We also promised each other to continue the fight for justice, though elusive for six years now,” Mangudadatu said. For some, like Hope Teodoro, the long wait has been excruciating, especially with the death recently of one of the principal suspects and the alleged mastermind of the crime—former Maguindanao Gov. Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr. But true to his name, Hope, whose father Andy Teodoro was among the members of the media believed killed by the private army of the Ampatuan clan on November 23, 2009, remains hopeful that justice will be served them. Teodoro was the News Bureau chief of the Mindanao Inquirer. “It has been six years since the heinous crime happened, until now all the suspects remain as suspects,” Hope said. He noted that Ampatuan Sr. died in jail without being convicted. Hope called on President Benigno Aquino 3rd to make good his promise that the massacre suspects will be convicted before he steps down from Malacanang. The murder cases against the Ampatuans and more than a hundred suspects are being tried in the sala of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes. At least 80 other suspects remain at large. READ MORE...

ALSO: Supreme Court (SC) presents ‘progress’ in Maguindanao massacre case


NOVEMBER 26 -Relatives and media practitioners commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre on Monday in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao. The powerful Ampatuan political clan was accused of masterminding the killing of 58 individuals, including 32 journalists in Maguindanao, on Nov. 23, 2009. REUTERS
The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday recounted the progress of the case on the infamous Maguindanao Massacre, which was touted as the worst election-related violence in the Philippines.In a statement, the high court said it already heard a total of 178 witnesses, 93 prosecution’s witnesses, 27 defense witnesses and 58 private complainants after six years since the gruesome incident occurred.The SC added that, as of now, there are 197 accused, 15 of which surnamed Ampatuans, “one of which was already dropped from the Informations, one of which was discharged as a state witness and one already dismissed.” The SC also resolved all outstanding formal offers of evidence against the bail applications of the accused as well as the bail applications of the major accused with only Andal “Unsal” Ampatuan Jr. left. “Of the 197 accused, 111 of them have been arrested and arraigned. Three of the accused already passed away including primary suspect Andal Ampatuan Sr. who died last July of liver cancer,” the SC said. READ MORE...RELATED, a long time ago in 2011,
PNoy vows justice for Maguindanao massacre victim...

ALSO: State witness in Maguindanao massacre fears for his life


NOVEMBER 23 -Sukarno Badal, a key witness to the Nov.23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre, speaks to reporters at the sidelines of Monday’s commemoration of the 6th anniversary of the atrocity in Ampatuan municipality. John Unson
MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - The state witness to the Nov. 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre is worried he could be murdered by people that want him silent sooner than the judiciary can hand a verdict on the case.
“I’ve told the court about what happened on that day. I was beside Andal Ampatuan Jr. when he was firing an automatic weapon at the victims. What else is needed for justice to triumph? I’m tired and I’m living on the edge now,” lamented massacre witness Sukarno Badal. Badal was referring to Ampatuan Jr., tagged as one of the brains in the massacre. “I’m tired now of waiting for the day the court will pass judgment. I’m worried people that want me dead for having turned witness will succeed in having me killed even before verdict on the case is passed,” Badal said, without elaborating. Badal, former vice-mayor of Sultan sa Barongis town in the second district of Maguindanao, was one of the speakers in Monday’s commemoration of the sixth anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre. The event was held at the scene of the crime in Salman area in Barangay Masalay in Ampatuan municipality. READ MORE...

ALSO unfulfilled promise: Media groups set to torch ‘PNoycchio’, the lying President; 32 journalists killed


NOVEMBER 22 -Manila Remembers National Press Club Vice President Benny Antiporda cleans the marker that contains the names of mediamen killed in Maguindanao. Photo by Russel Palma VARIOUS media organizations led by the National Press Club (NPC) of the Philippines will march to Chino Roces Bridge (formerly Mendiola) on Monday morning for a program commemorating the 6th anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre, the single most deadly attack on journalists in recorded history. NPC officers and hundreds of its members from various press organizations will conduct a simple wreath-laying ceremony at the site where a marker stands in memory of the 32 journalists murdered on November 23, 2009 in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao province. “It has been six years since the gruesome Maguindanao massacre where many of our colleagues were silenced by members of the powerful Ampatuan clan and their minions.And for the last five years, the Aquino government’s promise to bring the perpetrators to justice remains empty and the case in limbo over a series of humiliating setbacks,” the group said in a statement.Besides the NPC, the Burgos Media Center, Confederation of Asean Journalists, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and other militant groups will join the march to the historic bridge just outside Malacanang in Manila.“As Aquino’s incumbency draws to a close, it is but right to tell him how disgusted we are for his administration’s weak efforts [if any] in curbing media killings and in addressing the culture of violence and of impunity that threatens us all, not only those who practice the media profession,” the NPC said.This year’s theme is “PNoycchio: the lying president” where an effigy depicting President Benigno Aquino 3rd with an elongated nose will be presented to the public to highlight the government’s unfulfilled promises to curb cases of media killings. READ MORE...

ALSO: Justice for Maguindanao massacre victims unlikely under Noy term


NOVEMBER 24 -Justice will remain elusive for the families of the 58 individuals killed by militiamen in Maguindanao province, six years after the carnage took place.With a little over half a year remaining in his term of office, the Department of Justice (DoJ) turned non-committal when asked if a decision on the case is still possible before President Aquino steps down from Malacañang next year. DoJ spokesman Emmanuel Caparas noted that the prosecution has already rested its case and it is now the turn of the defense panel to present its evidence before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 being presided by Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.“In other words, the trial is not over yet and we have to let it run its full course,” he said. “We don’t know how counsels for the defendants plan to present their defense. The DoJ has done its all to prosecute with dispatch and the judiciary has also undertaken special measures to expedite trial of these cases,” Caparas stressed. He, however, assured the families of the victims that the DoJ would continue to pursue “fairness and justice” for them. “Our commitment continues and our doors are open. Please bear with us as the road to justice is challenging,” Caparas said. A total of 197 individuals led by former Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. and Zaldy Ampatuan, former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have been indicted for their involvement in the massacre. One of the accused was already dropped from the information, one was discharged as a state witness, and one already dismissed. A total of 111 of the accused have been arrested and arraigned while three of the accused, including Ampatuan Sr., have already died. As of Nov. 23, 2015, the trial court has already heard a total of 178 witnesses — 93 prosecution witnesses, 27 defense witnesses and 58 private complainants. The court has resolved all outstanding formal offers of evidence against the bail applications of the accused. It has also resolved all bail applications of the major accused, with only those of Ampatuan Jr. remaining. The trial court has already ordered accused Ampatuan Jr. to close his presentation of evidence not later than December 2015. Malacañang, for its part, said its hands are practically tied with the trial ongoing before the judicial branch. “It’s already with the judicial branch of government. So what can you expect from us? In the normal course of things, the executive branch is like an ordinary citizen also awaiting the outcome of the trial,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told a press briefing. The Palace official also denied that the Aquino administration lacks political will to resolve the massacre case. “I believe it is unfair for the NUJP (National Union of Journalists of the Philippines) to accuse the President, to accuse the executive branch that we lack political will. We can say our concerns, we can voice our concern, but it is the Supreme Court, it is the court itself — the (regional trial) court branch 221 — that has the final say on the Ampatuan trial,” said Lacierda stressed. READ MORE... RELATED, DOJ appeals for understanding from family of Maguindanao massacre victims and Maguindanao massacre victims remembered in Cotabato rites this year...

ALSO: Maguindanao victims’ kin hold prayer rally


NOVEMBER 24 -Filipino journalists march towards the Presidential Palace to commemorate the 6th anniversary of the massacre of 58 people, including 32 journalists, in Maguindano on Mondayat the National Press Club in Manila, Philippines. AP/Bullit Marquez
As the Maguindanao Massacre marked its sixth year on Monday, victims’ relatives held a prayer rally along Mendiola, Manila to still call for justice for their loved ones and end impunity.
The relatives of the 32 members of the media killed in the Maguindanao massacre, dubbed as the “Philippine’s worst massacre,” on Monday afternoon marched toward Malacañang Palace holding placards, torches and an effigy of President Benigno Aquino III to commemorate its sixth anniversary and cry for justice. The relatives were joined by the National Union of the Journalists of the Philippines and the National Press Club including activist lawyer and senatorial candidate Harry Roque as they held various activities during the commemoration. The special court handling the case described as the “deadliest single attack of media workers in the world” by the Associated Press is yet to issue a verdict against any of the accused charged with 58 counts of murder, with primary suspects Ampatuan clan led by deceased Andal Ampatuan Sr. The Supreme Court on Monday said the only major accused of the massacre remaining was Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan Jr. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Six years on, victims’ kin cry for justice


Common Grave: A man looks on as the site where victims of the Maguindanao massacre were buried is spruced up. Families of the victims and members of the media will mark the sixth anniversary of the massacre today with plaintive calls for the speedy resolution of the case. Contributed photo

COTABATO CITY, MAGUINDANAO, NOVEMBER 30, 2015 (MANILA TIMES) by JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL AND MOH SAADUDDIN CORRESPONDENTS - Today, there will be the usual offering of prayers and flowers as the country remembers a dark blotch in its history: the cold-blooded murder of 58 people, 32 of them members of media.

Six years after the Maguindanao massacre, the families of those mowed down by a powerful clan continue to mourn and seek justice.

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, whose wife Gennalyn was among those killed, vowed to continue the quest for justice.

“We vowed before the shallow graves of our loved ones to continue the fight for justice. We also promised each other to continue the fight for justice, though elusive for six years now,” Mangudadatu said.

For some, like Hope Teodoro, the long wait has been excruciating, especially with the death recently of one of the principal suspects and the alleged mastermind of the crime—former Maguindanao Gov. Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr.

But true to his name, Hope, whose father Andy Teodoro was among the members of the media believed killed by the private army of the Ampatuan clan on November 23, 2009, remains hopeful that justice will be served them. Teodoro was the News Bureau chief of the Mindanao Inquirer.

“It has been six years since the heinous crime happened, until now all the suspects remain as suspects,” Hope said.

He noted that Ampatuan Sr. died in jail without being convicted.

Hope called on President Benigno Aquino 3rd to make good his promise that the massacre suspects will be convicted before he steps down from Malacanang.

The murder cases against the Ampatuans and more than a hundred suspects are being tried in the sala of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.
At least 80 other suspects remain at large.


The Maguindanao Massacre took place here in Sitio Masalay, Barangay Salman of this town.

Mangudadatu said his children have not gotten over the loss of their mother.

“They, too, want justice for everyone who were murdered together with their mother.

There is no closure until justice is attained,” he added.

Mangudadatu, who also lost his two sisters in the massacre, admitted that justice remains an “elusive dream” but they are not losing hope. He urged the families of other victims not to give up the fight.

“It’s been too long since the prosecution rested the case against some of the accused.

Obviously, the defense is delaying the presentation of its evidence resulting in the delay of the resolution of the bail of Andal ‘Unsay’ Ampatuan Jr.,” he said.

“Once the bail petition of Unsay is resolved, the prosecution can rest its presentation of evidence and the court will hand down the verdict,” Mangudadatu explained. “We are not losing hope.”

The governor said he and his children last week visited the mass grave where the victims were buried.

READ MORE...

The mass grave, located in Sitio Masalay, Barangay Salman, Ampatuan town, is now surrounded with banana plantations and trees.

This morning, Mangudadatu and the families of the other victims will again converged on the mass grave to pray and offer flowers for the victims.

In the evening, there will be a media fellowship and tribute in Buluan, Maguindanao, to commemorate the massacre.


MAGUINDANAO, Philippines, Prosecutors outside Mindanao sought in Maguindanao, Cotabato  -Army Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan of the 6th Infantry Division and Chief Superintendent Manolito Labador of the Region 12 police, were among the speakers in Wednesday’s security summit in Camp Siongco in Datu Odin Sinsuat town.- The police and military agreed on Wednesday to work out the deployment here of special prosecutors from outside of Mindanao to handle high-profile crimes without reservations. PHILSTAR HEADLINE NEWS, PHOTO  By John Unson Updated November 19, 2015.

John Unson, vice president for print media of the Kampilan 6th Infantry Division Press Corps in Camp Siongco, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, said their members as well as the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Cotabato Chapter headed by Carlos Bautista will show their solidarity with the relatives of the victims.

“We are joining NUJP in the call to speed up the hearings and beyond that to end impunity,” Bautista said.

“We wish there will be a conviction before President Benigno Aquino 3rd steps down on June 30, 2016. The proper dispensation of justice will also remind people that the media deserves protection from the government,” Unson said.

Journalists and musicians from the cities of Davao, General Santos, Koronadal, Kidapawan and Cotabato will also pay tribute to the victims of the massacre on Monday night in in Buluan.


PANAYNEWSPHILIPPINES.COM

SC presents ‘progress’ in Maguindanao massacre case November 26, 2015 By ADRIAN STEWART CO


NOVEMBER 26 -Relatives and media practitioners commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre on Monday in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao. The powerful Ampatuan political clan was accused of masterminding the killing of 58 individuals, including 32 journalists in Maguindanao, on Nov. 23, 2009. REUTERS

MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday recounted the progress of the case on the infamous Maguindanao Massacre, which was touted as the worst election-related violence in the Philippines.

In a statement, the high court said it already heard a total of 178 witnesses, 93 prosecution’s witnesses, 27 defense witnesses and 58 private complainants after six years since the gruesome incident occurred.

The SC added that, as of now, there are 197 accused, 15 of which surnamed Ampatuans, “one of which was already dropped from the Informations, one of which was discharged as a state witness and one already dismissed.”

The SC also resolved all outstanding formal offers of evidence against the bail applications of the accused as well as the bail applications of the major accused with only Andal “Unsal” Ampatuan Jr. left.

“Of the 197 accused, 111 of them have been arrested and arraigned. Three of the accused already passed away including primary suspect Andal Ampatuan Sr. who died last July of liver cancer,” the SC said.

READ MORE...

“Since Andal Jr was the only remaining primary accused, he was ordered to close his presentation of evidence for bail not later than December 2015,” it added. “The proceedings have already reached the hearing of the evidence-in-chief of the main case.”

At least 58 people, including 32 journalists, were killed on Nov. 23, 2009, in what was believed to be an attempt of the Ampatuan clan to prevent Esmael Mangudadatu from filing his certificate of candidacy for Maguindanao governor in the 2010 election.

On Monday, the Justice secretary Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa said it is no longer confident of assuring the conviction of a primary suspect in the Maguindanao massacre before the Aquino administration ends.

However, Caparas assured the relatives of the massacre victims that the prosecutors would oppose any dilatory tactics the camp of the defendants are expected to throw in.
/PN

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A LONG, LONG TIME AGO IT SEEMS:

RELATED FROM THE GMA MEWS ONLINE IN 2011, AQUINO's fist yer in power

Noy vows justice for Maguindanao massacre victims Published July 14, 2011 10:33pm By AMITA O. LEGASPI, MARK D. MERUEÑAS, GMA News


FLASHBACK: FROM TIME (WORLD NEWS) JULY 19, 2011, By Ishaan Tharoor @ishaantharoor -Extrajudicial Murders Are a Blot on Noynoy Aquino’s Year in Power in the Philippines President Benigno Aquino III delivers his message before a big crowd of students and government officials during the celebration for his first year in office, June 30, 2011 in suburban Pasig City east of Manila, Philippines. NEWSSCOOP: Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III crested into office last year on a mandate for change. A scion of the country’s most famous political family, he benefited from not only the aura of his parents’ legacy, but his own reputation of earnestness, honesty and incorruptibility. His approval ratings remain high after more than 12 months in power, but his record is mixed, not least after Human Rights Watch, the New York-based global rights NGO, issued a damning report yesterday documenting at least seven extrajudicial killings and three enforced disappearances of leftist activists that have taken place under Aquino’s watch. The report reads: During his campaign for president, Benigno Aquino III pledged to end serious violations of human rights in the Philippines. Yet since taking office on June 30, 2010, the Philippine military continues to be implicated in apparently politically-motivated extrajudicial killings—deliberate unlawful killings by state security forces—and enforced disappearances. These abuses persist in part because of the Philippine police’s failure to conduct thorough and impartial investigations, particularly when evidence points to military involvement.  (Photo: Pat Roque - AP)

President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday personally assured Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto" Mangudadatu and other relatives of the Maguindanao massacre victims that the government would exhaust all means to accord them justice.

“I will do everything humanly possible to get justice [for you]," said Aquino, as quoted by her deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte on Twitter.

Accompanying Mangudadatu and relatives of 26 victims killed in the massacre was legal counsel and private prosecutor Nena Santos, who had earlier insisted the prosecution has no use for Zaldy Ampatuan, a key suspect in the case, as a witness.

Santos said the prosecution panel has enough strong testimonial evidence from witnesses to pin down Zaldy, his father Andal Ampatuan Sr, his brothers Andal Jr and Sajij, as well 193 other who stand accused of the murders.

Mangudadatu sought an audience with Aquino in the Palace to personally inform him of their opposition to Zaldy's intention to testify against his co-accused.

The incumbent Maguindanao governor expressed fears that having Zaldy as a state witness would just “destroy" the prosecution’s chances of winning the multiple murder case, currently being heard by a special court in Quezon City.

Private prosecutor Harry Roque, who represents families of most of the slain journalists, earlier suspected that Zaldy’s recent “exposés" were meant to lure the Aquino administration into striking a deal with him in exchange for his exoneration from charges he is facing.

Cabinet officials also weigh in


FLASHBACK PHOTO FROM Vox Bikol on Fri, 05/27/2011 - 17:45 : DILG CHIEF JESSE Robredo suspends Ampatuan jail warden. On May 27, 2011 - Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo today relieved the jail warden of the Quezon City jail annex in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City over the alleged special treatment given to Maguindanao massacre suspect Andal Ampatuan Sr. From Philstar.com

Also present in the Palace meeting were Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Local Governments Secretary Jesse Robredo, and Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.

On one hand, De Lima has already rejected outright the idea of admitting Zaldy as a witness, while Robredo and Lacierda both said the government should first assess the usefulness of Zaldy’s testimony to resolve the massacre case.

During the two-hour meeting which started around 4 p.m., Mangudadatu said they were also given a chance to air their concerns and sentiments on Zaldy’s offer to testify against his family aside from the assurance that the Aquino administration will continue siding with them.

“Bawat isa sa amin ay napagbigyan, ipinalabas kung ano ang saloobin," the Maguindanao governor said at a press briefing after the meeting.

Lacierda said the concerns of the families of the victims especially on security were immediately addressed by the President, who even called the heads of National Police and Armed Forces.

“Dun [sa meeting] lahat ng concerns nasagot agad ng Pangulo. Ang reaksyon nila [ng mga kamag-anak] ay it was a swift response from the administration," he said.

‘Let him talk’

Mangudadatu said the President told them to let Zaldy talk.

“Let him talk and talk at least makunan ng pwedeng i-support sa ebidensiyang ilalaban sa kung sino ang may kagagawan," Mangudadatu quoted the President as saying.

The families of the victims were again reassured that Zaldy will not be made a state witness in the massacre case.

“It’s direct from the President. If the documents coming from Zaldy do not warrant any additional conclusion to the case, then we don’t need him," Santos said.

She further said the prosecution will object if Zaldy will apply to be a state witness.

“Yes [we will object]. His testimony will not help the case," Santos said.

Mangudadatu expressed the belief that the Aquino administration is not politicizing the massacre case.

“Hindi naman [napupulitika]. Nakikita ko na tuwing nag-uusap kami, everytime na nagkikita kami sinasabi [ni Aquino] na hindi niya pababayaan ito(ng kaso)," he said.


FROM InterAksyon.com The online news portal of TV5 September 16, 2015 5:43 PM-- Photo of Former ARMM governor Zaldy Ampatuan with police escorts (Reuters file) By: Brian Maglungsod, InterAksyon.com  --Court rejects bail for 2009 massacre suspect Zaldy Ampatuan - DOJ The judge trying the multiple murder charges against the suspects in the November 23, 2009 Ampatuan massacre has denied bail to former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor Zaldy Ampatuan, the Department of Justice said Wednesday. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said her office received late Wednesday afternoon a copy of the September 15 decision of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis Reyes dismissing the bail petition of Ampatuan, one of several members of the powerful Maguindanao clan accused of masterminding the massacre, which claimed the lives of 58 persons, 32 of them journalists, in Ampatuan town. The father of the former ARMM governor, clan patriarch Andal Sr., died recently of liver cancer while a brother, Sajid, is out on bail. De Lima said the ruling proved the evidence against Ampatuan is strong. "The denial of the bail petition of Zaldy Ampatuan only shows that the focus of the DOJ prosecution team on this case is unwavering. It also shows that the prosecution's evidence is strong,” she said. The decision means the former ARMM governor “will remain in detention throughout the duration of the trial until conviction and sentencing.”

Witness in ‘other issues’

De Lima and Robredo said they are not looking into the Zaldy’s agenda with his coming out against his family.

“We do not know exactly what is in the mind and what are the real intentions or the agenda of this man pero kailangan natin ingatan ang interest ng pamilya ng biktima and lalo na the higher interest of justice," De Lima said.

“Pagdating sa massacre case dapat masyado tayong maingat because we cannot sacrifice this trial for anything. This is supposed to be the trial of the century, the litmus test of the Philippine criminal justice system. If we fail in this case, then the entire justice system also fails," she added.

She further said that Zaldy can be a ‘witness’ in other issues such as the electoral fraud and other anomalies involving the previous administration or former President Arroyo but not with the massacre case.

“Kung makakatulong sa iba tulad ng electoral fraud, other anomalies involving the previous administration, the former President, fine. If he can help, welcome, [pero] sa massacre case, teka muna," she said. — MRT/KBK, GMA News -


PHILSTAR

State witness in Maguindanao massacre fears for his life By John Unson (philstar.com) | Updated November 23, 2015 - 4:52pm 1 78 googleplus0 0


Sukarno Badal, a key witness to the Nov.23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre, speaks to reporters at the sidelines of Monday’s commemoration of the 6th anniversary of the atrocity in Ampatuan municipality. John Unson

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - The state witness to the Nov. 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre is worried he could be murdered by people that want him silent sooner than the judiciary can hand a verdict on the case.

“I’ve told the court about what happened on that day. I was beside Andal Ampatuan Jr. when he was firing an automatic weapon at the victims. What else is needed for justice to triumph? I’m tired and I’m living on the edge now,” lamented massacre witness Sukarno Badal.

Badal was referring to Ampatuan Jr., tagged as one of the brains in the massacre.

“I’m tired now of waiting for the day the court will pass judgment. I’m worried people that want me dead for having turned witness will succeed in having me killed even before verdict on the case is passed,” Badal said, without elaborating.

Badal, former vice-mayor of Sultan sa Barongis town in the second district of Maguindanao, was one of the speakers in Monday’s commemoration of the sixth anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre.

The event was held at the scene of the crime in Salman area in Barangay Masalay in Ampatuan municipality.

READ MORE...

Badal was one of more than 200 suspects in the massacre, the country’s worst election-related violence ever, but volunteered to help prosecute the culprits as state witness.

“My brother was shot 18 times by gunmen right after I surrendered and volunteered to testify against the perpetrators and masterminds of the massacre,” Badal said.

Badal said three of his trusted men also went missing and efforts to locate their whereabouts were all futile.

“They must have been killed and dumped somewhere to intimidate me. Never will I resent having turned witness to that massacre of innocent people,” Badal said.

He said his brother luckily survived the attempt on his life, but the incident forced him to hide somewhere else.

Badal complained of slow litigation of the massacre case in the sala of Judge Jocelyn Solis Reyes of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221.

He also appealed to two key massacre suspects still at large, Banarin Ampatuan and a relative named Kanor.

“They better surrender now and appear in court to prove their innocence as they claim, to show they are both innocent if indeed they are,” Badal said.

He said there are powerful people that want him killed, just like what had been done to several witnesses to the massacre, who got neutralized one after another as the litigation of the case went by.

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, who also addressed relatives of the massacre victims during the commemoration of the incident, said he is optimistic of the conviction of the culprits before the term of President Benigno Aquino III ends on June 30, 2016.

Also present in the symbolic affair were key military and police officials from across Central Mindanao and peace activist Oblate Missionary Eliseo Mercado Jr.

“There were moments I had thought of retaliating because of the slow litigation process, but did not because I’m convinced of the impartiality of the court handling the massacre case and because I believe justice would soon be achieved,” Mangudadatu said.

Among the 58 people killed in the Nov. 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre was the spouse of Mangudadatu, Genalyn, and 32 journalists.

The victims were on their way to the old provincial capitol in Shariff Aguak town to file on Mangudadatu’s behalf his certificate of candidacy (COC) for governor of Maguindanao.

Mangudadatu, then vice mayor of Buluan, was to contest the bid for the same post of Ampatuan Jr., mayor of Datu Unsay town in the second district of the province at that time.

Ampatuan Jr. is now detained, being prosecuted in connection with the massacre.

Accompanied by heavily armed relatives and policemen, Ampatuan Jr. allegedly flagged down the convoy carrying Mrs. Mangudadatu and her companions to prevent them from getting through the provincial office of the Commission on Elections in Shariff Aguak to file Mangudadatu’s COC.

The vehicles carrying the victims were herded at gunpoint to a nearby hill, where they were killed one after another using assault rifles and K3 caliber 5.56 light machine guns.

Badal said he saw how the victims were felled one after another by Ampatuan and his men using automatic weapons.

“I don’t deny I was one of his men then,” he said.

One of the alleged massacre masterminds, former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr., died of liver cancer early this year while in detention.

Ampatuan Sr., patriarch of the Ampatuan clan, was known for his absolute intolerance for political opposition when he was at the helm of the Maguindanao provincial government.

One of his sons implicated in the atrocity, Sajid, managed to post bail and has even filed his COC for mayor of their hometown, Shariff Aguak.

“We are seeking justice the legal way, through the judiciary. We have never resorted to retaliation because we want proper dispensation of justice for the victims of the massacre,” Mangudadatu said.


MANILA TIMES

Media groups set to torch ‘PNoycchio’ November 22, 2015 11:09 pm
by JOEL M. SY EGCO, SENIOR REPORTER


Manila Remembers National Press Club Vice President Benny Antiporda cleans the marker that contains the names of mediamen killed in Maguindanao. Photo by Russel Palma

VARIOUS media organizations led by the National Press Club (NPC) of the Philippines will march to Chino Roces Bridge (formerly Mendiola) on Monday morning for a program commemorating the 6th anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre, the single most deadly attack on journalists in recorded history.

NPC officers and hundreds of its members from various press organizations will conduct a simple wreath-laying ceremony at the site where a marker stands in memory of the 32 journalists murdered on November 23, 2009 in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao province.

“It has been six years since the gruesome Maguindanao massacre where many of our colleagues were silenced by members of the powerful Ampatuan clan and their minions.

And for the last five years, the Aquino government’s promise to bring the perpetrators to justice remains empty and the case in limbo over a series of humiliating setbacks,” the group said in a statement.

Besides the NPC, the Burgos Media Center, Confederation of Asean Journalists, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and other militant groups will join the march to the historic bridge just outside Malacanang in Manila.

“As Aquino’s incumbency draws to a close, it is but right to tell him how disgusted we are for his administration’s weak efforts [if any] in curbing media killings and in addressing the culture of violence and of impunity that threatens us all, not only those who practice the media profession,” the NPC said.


Human rights group decries justice for lawyers and all other victims of Maguindanao Massacre Cotabato City

This year’s theme is “PNoycchio: the lying president” where an effigy depicting President Benigno Aquino 3rd with an elongated nose will be presented to the public to highlight the government’s unfulfilled promises to curb cases of media killings.

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The effigy will be burned as participants don t-shirts with the markings: “Anim na taon na! Sinungaling ka [It has been six years! You’re a liar]!”
 


An artist puts finishing touches on an effigy of “Pnoycchio” that they will be using in a march rally on Mendiola bridge in protest against the unresolved Maguindanao Massacre on November 23, 2009, that killed 58 people including 32 journalists. JAIL JACINTO/NorthboundPH

The NPC began its weeklong commemoration of the massacre on November 16 when black drapes were unfurled to cover the NPC’s spiral staircase as a sign of solidarity and mourning.

Malacanang expressed hope that the resolution of the case will be fast-tracked by the judiciary.

“There have been many concerns raised on the pace of the case on the Ampatuan massacre and we know that the trial process is slow but that is with the judicial branch. Media and government have aired the call several times that the trial of the case be sped up,” Malacanang spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a radio interview.

Lacierda added that they continue to be “outraged” by the incident, which happened during the time of then-President Gloria Arroyo.

“We remember the people who unfortunately died in that tragic massacre. So, once again, we continue to ask our judicial branch if there’s any way that they can speed up the pace of the case. We understand that the Supreme Court has done a number of reforms and, hopefully, we hope that the case will be resolved at the earliest possible time.”

4 Responses to Media groups set to torch ‘PNoycchio’

Mary Rose Cobar says:
November 23, 2015 at 10:46 am
Like mother, like son magkamukha pa! What do you expect? The incompetence and inefficiency is so apparent, tayo ang boss pero tayo ang naging busabos.
To those who voted this fellow to the highest office of the land, should hang their head/s in shame!
Reply
Art Yadco says:
November 23, 2015 at 7:36 am
Basta mga kababayan, ang sukli natin dapat sa mga kapalpakan na ito ay WAG IBOTO SI MAR ROXAS.
Reply
Juan says:
November 23, 2015 at 2:57 am
Lacierda added that they continue to be “outraged” by the incident, which happened during the time of then-President Gloria Arroyo.
sa mga salita mo Lacierda,parang sinisi mo naman si Arroyo,
yan ba ang itutuloy na tuwad na daan ni Mar???
Reply
SALVACION CAHAYAG says:
November 22, 2015 at 11:48 pm
Lying, vindictiveness, massive corruption, selective justice(bata-bata), incompetence,
etc. clearly define abnoy’s administration. Fellow Filipinos, comes the 2016 election
day, JUST REMEMBER THE DAP, PDAP, THE MAMASAPANO MASACCRE, THE
UNFULFILLED PROMISES ABOUT THE MAGUINDANAO MASACCRE, THE
BRIBERY THAT LED TO THE OUSTING OF CORONA, THE TANIM-BALA THE
YOLANDA NEGLIGENCE, THE WORST WORLD AIRPORT AND SO MANY OTHERS. WHEN YOU GO TO THE POLLING BOTH REMEMBER AND HAVE THESE IN MIND.


TRIBUNE

Justice for Maguindanao massacre victims unlikely under Noy term Written by Tribune Wires Tuesday, 24 November 2015 00:00 By Benjamin B. Pulta and Joshua L. Labonera

Justice will remain elusive for the families of the 58 individuals killed by militiamen in Maguindanao province, six years after the carnage took place.

With a little over half a year remaining in his term of office, the Department of Justice (DoJ) turned non-committal when asked if a decision on the case is still possible before President Aquino steps down from Malacañang next year.

DoJ spokesman Emmanuel Caparas noted that the prosecution has already rested its case and it is now the turn of the defense panel to present its evidence before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 being presided by Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.

“In other words, the trial is not over yet and we have to let it run its full course,” he said.
“We don’t know how counsels for the defendants plan to present their defense. The DoJ has done its all to prosecute with dispatch and the judiciary has also undertaken special measures to expedite trial of these cases,” Caparas stressed.

He, however, assured the families of the victims that the DoJ would continue to pursue “fairness and justice” for them.

“Our commitment continues and our doors are open. Please bear with us as the road to justice is challenging,” Caparas said.

A total of 197 individuals led by former Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. and Zaldy Ampatuan, former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have been indicted for their involvement in the massacre.

One of the accused was already dropped from the information, one was discharged as a state witness, and one already dismissed.

A total of 111 of the accused have been arrested and arraigned while three of the accused, including Ampatuan Sr., have already died.

As of Nov. 23, 2015, the trial court has already heard a total of 178 witnesses — 93 prosecution witnesses, 27 defense witnesses and 58 private complainants.

The court has resolved all outstanding formal offers of evidence against the bail applications of the accused. It has also resolved all bail applications of the major accused, with only those of Ampatuan Jr. remaining. The trial court has already ordered accused Ampatuan Jr. to close his presentation of evidence not later than December 2015.

Malacañang, for its part, said its hands are practically tied with the trial ongoing before the judicial branch.

“It’s already with the judicial branch of government. So what can you expect from us? In the normal course of things, the executive branch is like an ordinary citizen also awaiting the outcome of the trial,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told a press briefing.
The Palace official also denied that the Aquino administration lacks political will to resolve the massacre case.

“I believe it is unfair for the NUJP (National Union of Journalists of the Philippines) to accuse the President, to accuse the executive branch that we lack political will. We can say our concerns, we can voice our concern, but it is the Supreme Court, it is the court itself — the (regional trial) court branch 221 — that has the final say on the Ampatuan trial,” said Lacierda stressed.

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Candles are lit beside a tarpaulin bearing the photos of the victims of the Maguindanao massacre following a protest march yesterday to mark the sixth anniversary of the killing of 58 people, more than half of them media workers. MIGUEL DE GUZMAN  -MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Justice (DOJ) is no longer confident of securing the conviction of at least one primary defendant in the Maguindanao massacre before President Aquino’s term ends next year.
Leila de Lima, before quitting as justice secretary to run for senator, had said she expected the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 221 to hand down its verdict on the multiple murder case against Andal Ampatuan Jr. and brother Zaldy before Aquino steps down on June 30. DOJ Undersecretary and spokesman Emmanuel Caparas said the prosecution team has no control over the pace of the trial. “Whether that target will be met is not an easy question to answer. We don’t know how counsels for the defendants plan to present their defense,” Caparas said. “The trial is not over yet and we have to let it run its full course.” Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the resolution of the case is beyond the control of the executive. FROM PHILSTAR NOVEMBER 23, 2015

The high tribunal has said after these formal offers of evidence are resolved, the defense may either present its evidence and then rest or submit a demurrer to evidence.

“At the time, these murder cases will already be submitted for the decision of the trial court,” the high court pointed out.

In 2013, the SC issued several new guidelines, including the use of judicial affidavits in lieu of the direct testimonies of the witnesses, to speed up the trial proceedings of the case.

Earlier in the day, the NUJP, the National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC) and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) held a protest rally to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre.

According to NUJP, Aquino did injustice to the slain men and women when he failed to deliver his promise of justice after he won the elections in 2010.

It noted that the President “simply does not care” about the killings.

“Six years after Ampatuan, six years of continued impunity, six years of unfulfilled promises and broken dreams. We would say good riddance Aquino but no, you cannot and should not be able to wash off the blood on your hands, for which we promise to hound you and hold you accountable,” the NUJP said.

Meanwhile, the New York-based watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) Global Impunity Index has ranked the Philippines 4th in world with the most unresolved cases of mass killings against the media.

The think tank noted that the Philippines, under Aquino, has had seven media killings “with complete impunity” from a total count of 44 since September 2005.

It noted of the elusive justice for victims of the Maguindanao massacre as well.

“Justice for the 32 media victims and 26 others slaughtered in the 2009 massacre in Maguindanao appears more elusive than ever. No one has yet been convicted of the crime and, after six years of protracted legal proceedings, the suspected mastermind has now died of natural causes,” the report said.

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MANILA BULLETIN

DOJ appeals for understanding from family of Maguindanao massacre victims by Leonard Postrado November 23, 2015 (updated)


On the 6th Anniversary of the infamous Maguinadanao Massacre that killed 57 people including 34 journalists, families of the victims asked the NAtional Police Commission through a petition, the immediate dismissal of the 64 policemen implicated in the massacre, at the NAPLOCOM Office in Quezon City, November 23, 2015. (Mark Balmores)

The Department of Justice (DOJ) appealed for understanding from the family of the 58 victims, including 32 journalists, of the Maguindanao massacre for the slow proceedings of their case against all the accused, led by former Datu Unsay, Maguindanao Mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr.

In a text message to reporters, DOJ Undersecretary and spokesman Atty. Emmanuel Caparas assured the families of the victims and other sectors that the government prosecutors are doing their duty in order to speed-up the trial of the 197 accused led by Ampatuan Jr., former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. and Zaldy Ampatuan, former Governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

“To the families of the victims, please be assured that your DOJ remains steadfast in its pursuit of fairness and justice for all of you. Our commitment continues and our doors are open. Please bear with us as the road to justice is challenging,” Caparas said.

He noted that the Maguindanao massacre case involves 58 victims, 197 accused, 147 prosecution witnesses, and 300 defense witnesses.

Earlier, former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the government is hoping to secure the conviction of the principal accused before the end of President Aquino’s term in 2016.

Two of the 197 accused, namely PO2 Hernanie Decipulo and Sukarno Badal, died while in detention while another accused Johan Drapper was dropped from the informations.

Out of the remaining 194 accused, 106 are now detained while 88 accused are still at-large.

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RELATED FROM THE BULLETIN

Maguindanao massacre victims remembered in Cotabato rites by Malu Cadelina Manar September 24, 2015 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share12


November 23 is still remembered as the “deadliest day for the press” as 32 of the 58 victims were
journalists.

Kidapawan City – Journalists from North Cotabato marked on Wednesday the 70th month since the Maguindanao massacre with a candle lighting ceremony and offered prayers for the repose of the souls of the victims of the gruesome crime.

The journalists, all members of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Cotabato chapter, lighted 58 candles for the 58 lives lost during the massacre.

They vowed ‘never to forget’ the crime and would continue to seek justice for the victims, 32 of them journalists.

The brutal massacre is considered one of the world’s deadliest attacks against media workers.

NUJP – Cotabato members expressed relief when they were told that the petition for bail filed by former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Datu Zaldy Ampatuan was denied by the court.

The NUJP Cotabato chapter said the petition was denied because of the strength of the evidence against Ampatuan.

The order, penned by Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the QC RTC Branch 221, was issued on September 15.

The group was also hopeful that the massacre trial hearings would be completed – as promised by Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, before the year ends.

They were told the prosecution and defense lawyers will finish presenting evidence by the end of 2015. After which, Judge Reyes will have 90 days to issue a verdict.


6 YEARS WITHOUT JUSTICE: NEVER FORGET – A member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) MANILA BULLETIN

The Maguindanao massacre unfolded on the morning of November 23, 2009 when the victims were waylaid in Ampatuan, Maguindanao while en route to the Commission on elections office to field the certificate of candidacy of then Buluan voice mayor Esmael ‘Toto’ Mangudadatu, who was to challenge Datu Unsay town mayor Andal Ampatuan Sr.

The victims, including the 32 journalists and the wife and two sisters og Mangudadatu were shot and their remains dumped in a mass grave. Several members of the Ampatuan clan emerged as the primary suspects and have been charged in court.


PHILSTAR

Maguindanao victims’ kin hold prayer rally (philstar.com) | Updated November 24, 2015 - 6:10pm 0 0 googleplus0 0


Filipino journalists march towards the Presidential Palace to commemorate the 6th anniversary of the massacre of 58 people, including 32 journalists, in Maguindano on Mondayat the National Press Club in Manila, Philippines. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines – As the Maguindanao Massacre marked its sixth year on Monday, victims’ relatives held a prayer rally along Mendiola, Manila to still call for justice for their loved ones and end impunity.

The relatives of the 32 members of the media killed in the Maguindanao massacre, dubbed as the “Philippine’s worst massacre,” on Monday afternoon marched toward Malacañang Palace holding placards, torches and an effigy of President Benigno Aquino III to commemorate its sixth anniversary and cry for justice.

The relatives were joined by the National Union of the Journalists of the Philippines and the National Press Club including activist lawyer and senatorial candidate Harry Roque as they held various activities during the commemoration.

The special court handling the case described as the “deadliest single attack of media workers in the world” by the Associated Press is yet to issue a verdict against any of the accused charged with 58 counts of murder, with primary suspects Ampatuan clan led by deceased Andal Ampatuan Sr.

The Supreme Court on Monday said the only major accused of the massacre remaining was Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan Jr.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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