PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte vowed to deliver justice for the victims of the gruesome Maguindanao massacre and their families, Malacañang said yesterday.
The President had a “cordial, candid, and impassioned” meeting in Malacañang Thursday night with relatives of some of the victims, according to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte met with the families of the victims in Malacanang, where he assured them that justice will be delivered under his watch,” Roque said.
While Duterte emphasized the right of the accused to be heard as “sacred,” the President also “expressed optimism” that the case will lead to a verdict favorable to the victims
Roque said Duterte instructed Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, who is also chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS), and Task Force Executive Director Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco, and the state prosecutors handling the case “to see to it that a conviction would be handed down to the principal accused the soonest time possible.”
Thursday, November 23, marked the 8th anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre that left 58 people dead, including media workers.
Duterte, according to Roque, also instructed Special Assistant to the President, Secretary Christopher “Bong” Go, to arrange employment, scholarships and financial assistance for the families.
“In return, the families expressed their profound gratitude to the President, who responded by saying that he is just fulfilling his duty as president to meet the ends of justice,” Roque said.
“Rest assured that we in the government, through PTFoMS, the DOJ and other stakeholders, will work without letup in ensuring justice for all victims of violence against members of the working press. We are committed to upholding the President’s promise that his government will never condone violence and repression of media,” he added.