As the media community marks the 10th year of the so-called Ampatuan massacre on November 23, the families of the 58 victims continue to wait for justice to be meted on those behind the heinous crime.
On November 23, 2019, 58 people, 32 of them member of the media, were killed in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao allegedly perpetrated by members of the powerful Ampatuan clan. The killing was linked to the Ampatuans as their political enemy, then vice mayor Esmael Mangudadatu, was to challenge the Ampatuans in the race for governor of the province.
Among those arrested was the Ampatuan patriarch, Andal Sr., who eventually died while in detention, together with several family members and supporters.
There were reports that the ruling on the case might be released before the 10th anniversary of the incident. The resolution of the case would either bring closure to the families of the victims, or would bring another layer of intolerable pain.
Will justice be served or will the families of the victims continue to writhe in unbearable pain? Knowing how complicated the justice system in this country is, expectation and hope might not be the same.
Promises have been made in relation to protecting the people of the industry, but killing has continued to take place. Of course, both the industry and the government know the key challenges in ensuring the safety of the people in the industry.
Meanwhile, the culture of impunity in the country has continued. This must stop or another horror of a crime will take place despite the promises.
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