Massacre vicitim’s daughter forgives Ampatuan; hopes he asked for forgiveness

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 18 July) — Nurse Reynafe Momay-Castillo heard the news at midnight, nine hours before boarding a plane back to the United States where her family now lives, that Andal Ampatuan Sr., three-term Maguindanao governor and one of the principal suspects in the massacre of 58 persons, including her father, has passed away.

Castillo, daughter of Midland Courier photographer Reynado Momay, whose remains were not found but for his dentures, said she had forgiven the Ampatuan clan’s patriarch upon learning of his condition.

Ampatuan, admitted at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) for “advanced liver cancer” on June 5, lapsed into a coma on Monday, July 13, after a massive heart attack, his lawyer Salvador Panelo announced late Tuesday night.

“I had forgiven him, but I also pray he also asked forgiveness before he died,” Castillo said in a brief interview over the telephone.

“I am not happy for his death though we prayed for justice, I know the feeling of losing someone because I just lost my mother recently,” she said.

Castillo returned home for the burial of her mother, Femy, who succumbed to cancer on June 16.

Castillo acknowledged having felt “mixed emotions” when she heard the news.

“Nagising yung buong pagkatao ko, matutulog na sana ako,” (I was kept awake. I was about to sleep then.”

Castillo admits she is frustrated over the slow pace of the justice system. It is nearly six years since the massacre.

She left at 9 a.m. Saturday for the US where she will continue to count days, to wait for justice for her father and the 57 other victims of the massacre. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)