Year 9: Kin of Ampatuan massacre victims seek justice anew

ILIGAN CITY–The families and relatives of the 58 slain civilians in the Ampatuan massacre have called on the Supreme Court to help speed up the case to give justice to the victims of the gruesome killings nine years ago.

Nonoy Espina, national chairman of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), said the more than 200 family members and relatives of the massacre victims from Mindanao and Manila lighted candles and laid flowers at the massacre site in Masalay, Ampatuan, Maguindanao on November 18 following a media summit in Davao City.

“The immediate families of the victims are calling the Philippine government: Justice now, convict the Ampatuans,”  Espina said in a phone interview Monday.

The November 23, 2009 massacre–also dubbed the Maguindanao massacre–took the lives of 34 journalists and media workers. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called the massacre the single deadliest event for journalists in history.

Espina said that during the visit at the massacre site in Ampatuan town, the families and relatives of the victims set ablaze tarpaulins bearing the images of the Ampatuan family members, including Datu Unsay, and Zaldy, who was then governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Espina said the body of one journalist, Tacurong-based photojournalist Reynaldo Momay, remains missing although the court included his name on the list of massacre victims.

Major General Cirilito Sobejana, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division based in Camp Siongco, Awang, Maguindanao, said soldiers belonging to the  1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade and the 601st Infantry Brigade were deployed to ensure the safety of visiting family members. Richel Umel/

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