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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, November 23, 2019
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Negros press calls for justice


Officers and members of the Negros Press Club and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines-Bacolod Chapteryesterday called on their colleagues and the Filipino people to be vigilant as they demand for “true justice”, on the eve of the commemoration of the 10th death anniversary of the victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.

Former Mansilingan kagawad Andrea Jayme and Gabrela-Negros secretary general Marden Jalando-on joined the NPC led by its president Chrysee Samillano, and NUJP-Bacolod Chapter headed by Marchel Espina, during a program and candle-lighting ceremony at the Marker of the Fallen Journalists at the Bacolod Public Plaza, to highlight their pursuit for justice for the 58 people who included 32 journalists massacred at Ampatuan town, Maguindanao on November 23, 2009.

Jayme, the younger sister of human rights lawyer Connie Jayme-Brizuela, one of the victims, appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte and the Secretary of Justice to help in expediting the resolution of the case. A decade is long enough for the court to render a decision on the case despite the evidences presented, she said.

Some of the perpetrators have already died, while some have been freed from jail and there are policemen involved who have gone scot-free, she added.

Jayme said she hopes the government will ensure the safety of the judge hearing the case, and that the decision will be favorable to the victims.

The next few weeks will be critical as the promulgation of judgment is expected to be handed down on or before December 20, she said.

The NPC and NUJP-Bacolod Chapter, in a joint statement, demanded that the government bring the perpetrators to justice.

Until now, no conviction has been handed down against the mastermind of the brutal attack, the powerful Ampatuan clan, it said.

The victims were shot to death on their way to the provincial poll office for the filing of certificate of candidacy of Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu for governor against Andal Ampatuan Jr., son of the governor at that time, the alleged mastermind of the massacre, dubbed as the worst election-related violence in the Philippine history, who died in 2015.

Meanwhile, Jalando-on said Brizuela was one of the human rights lawyers of Gabriel in Mindanao.

They will hold a program and candle-lighting ceremony at the Marker of the Fallen Journalists at 10 a.m. today as they seek justice for the victims, she said.*


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