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.
The Ampatuans and their associates had 597 bank accounts, 500 hectares of real property assets, 130 motor vehicles, 420 firearms, and a private army many hundreds strong. Their scions now stand accused in the murder of 58 persons, including 32 journalists and media workers, in the Ampatuan Massacre of Nov. 23, 2009.
Ombudsman Martires knew that as a public official with expertise and mandate on the issues raised, he was speaking face to face with a journalist with a legitimate journalistic purpose, on a matter of public interest. The conversation occurred in a public space and even with the full knowledge and in full view of his own personnel from the Office of the Ombudsman.