January 23, 2011
Condemn injustice; Ampatuan lawyer Brillantes’ appointment
“Aquino’s promise of justice is as dry as these flowers.”
This was the statement of Trina Federis, National President of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines, as campus journalists offered dried flowers at the foot of the Don Chino Roces monument in Mendiola. Don Chino Roces is one of the most well-known press freedom fighters in Philippine History.
“Aquino just made a statement that justice will never be given to the victims of Maguindanao Massacre with the appointment of Sixto Brillantes Jr. to one of the most powerful positions in government.”
Federis said that a year after the gruesome massacre, nobody has been held accountable over the death of 57 individuals, of which 32 were members of the press. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the Ampatuan clan remain innocent of the hideous crime and the Aquino administration is content with using gimmickry to work his way out of providing justice to the victims.
“So where is the promised justice? We can freshly recall Maguindanao Massacre as one of the most gruesome displays of electoral violence in Philippine history and now the murderers’ lawyer is put in place as the chair of the Commision on Elections.”
Federis pointed out that Sixto Brillantes Jr.’s appointment sets a dangerous precedent to the way human rights violations are handled under the new regime. She continued in saying that the Philippine elections is one of the bloodiest in the world, and now the defender of murderers is put in place to ensure clean, honest and peaceful elections.
“Not only did Aquino fail to provide justice to the victims of the massacre, but he made clear that this democracy is just a sham. We will never forget the Maguindanao Massacre. Not under the Aquino administration where at least eight journalists have been killed and the liar who defended the masterminds behind the massacre of 57 lives is tasked to ensure the little democracy the elections provide.”###