GMA wants Maguindanao case resolved by June 30
By Paolo Romero
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – President Arroyo wants a resolution to the Nov. 23 Maguindanao massacre before her term ends on June 30, deputy presidential spokesman Gary Olivar said yesterday.
Olivar said the President has sought to assure the safety of witnesses who are willing but afraid to testify.
Olivar made the statement to assuage the impatience of the victims’ families and other concerned sectors.
Hearings on the multiple murder charges against the Ampatuan clan have been suspended indefinitely since late last month pending the resolution of several motions filed by the Ampatuans, including the motion to inhibit presiding Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 from hearing the multiple murder case.
The families of the massacre victims are becoming impatient, challenging Mrs. Arroyo to take concrete steps to make sure the perpetrators of the massacre are convicted.
“We are now running out of time… President Arroyo should be true to her promise and make it real. She promised us during the wake that she will see to it that justice will be surely given us and the perpetrators will be convicted before she steps down in June. How can we achieve it now that the trial has been stopped?” said Myrna Reblando, widow of slain journalist Bong Reblando.
Police Officer 1 Eliver Cablitas, widower of slain local newspaper publisher Maritess Cablitas, said Mrs. Arroyo should do something for the immediate resolution of the case.
He said he has been hospitalized since Sunday because of emotional stress. – With Reinir Padua, Rose Tamayo-Tesoro