Progressive groups from around the city staged a rally in commemoration of the 5th anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre at the Freedom Park Monday afternoon. 58 people were killed in the massacre, including at least 30 members of the media.
Protesters expressed their frustrations about the government’s slow progress in seeking justice against the suspects involved on the massacre. They demanded to the national government to end paramilitarism and warlordism in Mindanao.
In a press statement released by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-SMR, the group said, “Aquino pretends efforts to resolve the issue, but giving no concrete action and allowing the attrition of the important witnesses in the case. It is as if Aquino himself is trying to bury the issue, wanting the public to forget and move on from the atrocity committed. If not for the efforts of peoples’ groups, the issue would have died a long time ago, as progress is slow and minimal from the side of the investigators.”
Sheena Duazo, Secretary General of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-SMR, explains about the current status of the said case.
“Narinig natin sa mga news reports that they are appealing for petition for bail, which is sa tingin namin ay masyadong hypocrite naman kung papayagan yan ng DOJ given na pinapatay na ngayon yung mga witnesses at grabe yung clamor for justice para sa mga pamilya.”
She added, “Aside sa mga legal battles, Isa sa mga immediate solutions to the problem is to dismantle yung mga paramilitaries. Disarmahan yung mga private militaries na ginagamit ng mga pulitiko to serve their own interests. And, pangalawa diyan, we are linking this to the Aquino government’s Oplan Bayanihan, the intense militarization in Mindanao which resulted to thousands of human rights violations, mostly farmers and IPs natin or Indigenous People.”