Statement by U.S. Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. on the Second Anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre

November 23, 2011

Today, on the second anniversary of the brutal massacre in Maguindanao of 58 innocent men and women, including 32 members of the media, we offer our condolences to the families and friends of those killed.

The United States welcomes President Aquino’s pledge to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice.

We applaud those members of the Philippine National Police, Department of Justice, and Court who are working to expedite the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of cases against those who committed this appalling act of violence.  The prosecution of this case is seen by many around the world as demonstrative of the Philippines’ commitment to upholding the rule of law and protecting human rights.

We commend the courage of those witnesses who have come forward to testify, despite threats and intimidation, and stand in admiration of the journalists and political and community leaders who carry on their important work in memory of those who lost their lives two years ago.  Know that on this day, and every day, we continue to remember the victims of that merciless act committed in Maguindanao on November 23, 2009, and to call for those guilty of this crime to be brought to justice.