Judgment day by the court comes tomorrow for the 197 accused of multiple murder of 58 persons, including 32 journalists and media workers, in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao, on Nov. 23, 2009. For 10 years now, the widows and orphans of those killed had longed for justice.
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.
Citing the “voluminous records” of the case, the judge has requested a 30-day postponement of the promulgation of judgment. The Supreme Court agreed. In two days, on Dec. 19, 2019, it will finally happen.
They come from one of the poorest provinces of the country but the Ampatuans ranked among Asia's crazy rich, while they were in power. Court records showed that they owned five million square meters of property in parts of Maguindanao, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Davao City, and even in ritzy Dasmarinas Village in Makati City.