Aquino says government exerting all efforts to achieve justice for Maguindanao massacre victims

July 5, 2012 9:28 pm 

MANILA, July 5 — The Aquino administration has been exerting all efforts to achieve justice for the victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Thursday.

President Aquino issued the statement following reports that Myrna Reblando, widow of slain journalist Alejandro "Bong" Reblando, left the Philippines seeking asylum to another country. Reblando, a reporter of the Manila Bulletin, was among the 32 journalists killed in a massacre in Maguindanao province in November 2009.

"Well, malaki naman talaga ang dinaanan ni Mrs. Reblando. At talagang meron namang frustration sa bagal ng ating sistema ng hudikatura. Mabigat talaga ‘yung kaso sa dami ng akusado; sa daming prosesong kailangang daanin," the President said during an ambush interview on Thursday at the World Trade Center.

Ninenty-six suspects in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre are now in police custody, while 100 others remain at large.

"May mga anak siya, may pamilya siyang kailangan na buhayin at meron naman sigurong normalcy na gustong mangyari sa buhay niya. At hindi perpekto ‘yung ginagawa natin pero palagay ko naman walang makasasabing nagkukulang tayo sa paghahabol ng katarungan," the President stressed.

The President also said the relatives of the massacre victims have the freedom to choose whether to accept the government's offer of security.

"Pwede nating pakiusapan… Pero sa dulo nito, may malaya silang desisyon at may karapatan silang mag-desisyon nang malaya sa kung anong palagay nilang angkop sa kanilang sitwasyon," he said.

The Aquino administration has earlier renewed its offer of security to the witnesses of the Maguindanao massacre who were not under the Witness Protection Program. (PNA)

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