November 17, 2011
It has been two years and just like most of the other cases filed in this country, the Maguindanao Massacre has yet to prosecute a mastermind and give even a tinge of relief, or sense of justice to the families of the victims.
Charges were filed against suspected masterminds such as Andal Ampatuan Jr. but all that happens to them are stay as charges and not translate into a conviction. Again, we are seeing right in the eye the saddening culture of impunity that gives justice to every injustice being done in this country. Evidences have been laid out against Ampatuan and his cohorts yet the legions of families and kins of the 58 murdered in the savage massacre remain unsure of who was primarily behind the cruel incident that took away a loved one or two from them. As if knowing who was behind it was any consolation, even this is being deprived from those left behind.
We return to the culture of impunity and how it gives no discouragement, and even arguably gives the opposite, to those who are brazen in breaking the law and stepping on the rights of others for their own interests. And we can move forward to our crooked justice system that needs years, more tediously, decades just to put someone behind the bars, and make him suffer at the very least for what he has done.
This is a justice system that is only a reflection of the kind of society we have now. This is a justice system that is implicated in the overall system existing in our society now. This is a justice system controlled by the powers-that-be; again, for the sake of their interests.
In the current set-up of the society where there are those who are more privileged than others, has more money and power than others, it is not surprising that the power relations create systems that favor only those who are rich and powerful. The judiciary system is only one of these poor systems that speak only for those who are privileged and powerful. What this system breeds are killings tolerated for months and years, killings that happen at the first place because of intense political greed, and many other injustices committed by those powers-that-be at the expense of the poor, the voiceless and the ones at the margins.
For the nth time, we call for justice for the victims of Maguindanao massacre. We want a society where those who tell the truth are not silenced or killed, where there is no longer a division between those who have power that covers up their evil and those who are exploited in return. This farce of injustice has to stop. More importantly, the farce of a system where this injustice comes from should also be axed.
COLLEGE EDITOR’S GUILD OF THE PHILIPPINES BAGUIO-BENGUET