"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Friday, December 11, 2009

Rebellion charges deny Maguindanao massacre victims of justice

Pursuing rebellion charges against the suspects in the Maguindanao massacre is an injustice to the victims and their families who have suffered much from the atrocious act, Senator Richard J. Gordon today stressed.

"May malaking posibilidad na hindi mabibigyan ng hustisya ang limampu't pitong (57) biktima ng pagpatay at maraming bilang ng illegal na armas kung hindi ito aabot sa husgado kapag hindi natin ipawawalang bisa ang proklamasyong nagdedeklara ng martial law," Gordon said.

"In declaring a rebellion, you are letting the suspects get away with their worst crimes. If we subscribe to the theory of rebellion, we are part of the crime because we are letting them get away with other heinous offenses. We were thrown out of focus by the declaration of martial law. Our focus must be on justice. Let us keep our focus on the crime of multiple murders," he added.

The senator explained that justice should be given to each and every victim by charging the suspects with every count of murder and illegal possession of firearm committed.

Gordon also said that if the suspects were mere rebels who only wanted to stir unrest and create public disorder, then there was no reason to hide the effects of their crime, and they would not have buried the bodies of the victims, their vehicles and the weapons they used.

"Are we to be cheap politicians and accept the theory that there was a rebellion? Can we look every Filipino in the eye and say that these murderers are mere rebels? That would mean that they are entitled to a lesser offense. They will not be charged for murder, nor for illegal possession of firearms because they may all be absorbed in the crime of rebellion," he stressed.

"Makapal ang mukha nating lahat dito kapag pinabayaan natin na makatakas ang mga pumatay sa mga nagdadalang-tao, sa mga mamamahayag, sa mga abogadong pinaaral ng kanilang mga magulang. Kung hahayaan natin ito, ipagdasal ninyo na huwag mangyari ang ganito sa inyo sapagkat baka pag nangyari iyon, wala ng tatayo para ipaglaban ang inyong karapatan," said Gordon.

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