KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/23 June) — A new “explosive witness” to the infamous Maguindanao Massacre will come out in the open soon to nail the Ampatuan clan for their alleged involvement in the killings, according to Maguindanao governor-elect Esmael G. Mangudadatu.
“This witness has information not yet known to the public,” he told the local media today but did not divulge any more details.
Mangudadatu’s wife and several relatives, as well as 32 media workers, were killed when their convoy was stopped along the highway in Ampatuan town, then brought to a desolate patch where they were brutally murdered.
Families of victims, meanwhile, marked the seventh month of the Nov. 23 massacre with graveyard visits and prayers.
Myrna P. Reblando, wife of slain Manila Bulletin reporter Alejandro “Bong” Reblando, said they offered prayers and lighted candles at the gravesites of their loved ones.
Reblando, vice chair of Justice Now!, the association of family members of the slain media workers, said they are hopeful that justice will finally be served them in the incoming Aquino administration. During the campaign period, Ms Reblando figured in a TV advertisement of President-elect Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III.
The local chapter of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in Kidapawan City jogged at dawn today to call an end to the media killings in the country as their way of marking the seventh month of the Maguindanao massacre.
NUJP-Kidapawan chair Malu C. Manar said they organized the People’s Movement Against Impunity and Extra-Judicial Killings “to expose, oppose, and denounce impunity and extra-judicial killings that beset the country.” The group is composed of members of the media, church people, non-government organizations, peoples’ organizations, human rights lawyers and activists.
Journalists in Kidapawan also tied black ribbons on pine trees along the national highway as a sign of protest, Manar said. (MindaNews)