THE PRESS community has worked hard to keep the case alive on the news agenda. 

Various media groups have joined their advocacies, administering funds for humanitarian assistance for families of the victims and scholarships for the orphans. 

The UN-declared International Day to End Impunity (IDEI) for Crimes Against Journalists heightened activities each November since 2009, from candle-lighting to marches to memorial ceremonies in Masalay. 

But the crime, the trial, and its outcome are the concern, not only of journalists and the families of the victims. It should be understood by every Filipino as an example of the use of violence as an instrument of politics. It is the same political arena that generates much of the news reported by journalists to the public. 

Even without the 32 media victims in Ampatuan, the killing of journalists has long tainted the record of attacks and threats on press freedom in the Philippines. There are too many stories stained by blood and too many perpetrators of such violence are not even taken to courts. 

It is therefore important to hear the decision tomorrow, December 19.  

The lessons of the trial belong to the people so these can empower them to end impunity, to change the culture of politics and the course of our national history. 

For the victims, the decision should allow them finally to rest in peace, grant their loved ones a measure of justice, and with it, comfort and consolation after their long wait.