I am the daughter of Reynaldo ‘Bebot Momay,’ the 58th victim in the Maguindanao Massacre.
It is 58.
I have been very vocal about this fact that my father was there.
I may know for a fact that in litigating one’s claim, it is what you can prove in court (that) matters. And this, this is what I will fight for until such time that my truth will be recognized by the court of law.
After the Branch 221 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City ruled the conviction of the Ampatuans and other accused for 57 counts of murder, the frustration introduced me to another level of pain.
And this time, it is more painful.
I remember how I fought along with the families of the victims even though I did not find the body of my father. I’ve been asking God, maybe my fight is still not over and it is still my purpose to continue because as of now, it is my only hope.
I respected the Regional Trial Court’s decision. But I do not stand behind the fact that it left out justice for my father.
My father is a mediaman. He was a photojournalist. He was there among those victims. The only reason why he lost his life was because of his profession. The profession that he did not only love but the profession that guards and defends every citizen’s Constitutional right to press freedom.
I pray and believe that the same Constitution will bring justice for me and for my father.
I can only wish one day that 57 will be up by one since it matters more to me than before.
For me to forget is not an option. It is never and option. And it will never be an option.
Let us remember the 58th victim was my father. And that victim is Reynaldo “Bebot” Momay.
Let us remember the 58th victim was my father.
(Ma. Reynafe Momay-Castillo, a nurse now based in the United States delivered this message during the online forum on Media Killings and the Culture of Impunity held morning of November 23, 2020, to commemorate the 11th anniversary of the massacre of 58 persons in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao, 32
of them from the media. The court in December last year found 28 principals, including members of the Ampatuan clan, guilty of 57 counts of murder, excluding the 58th victim, Reynaldo “Bebot’ Momay of Midland Review in Tacurong City. Ms Castillo appealed the ruling)