|Most Rev. Jose Cabantan, DD|
Bishop of Malaybalay, Bukidnon
MANILA, Nov. 22, 2011—A Catholic bishop urged the Aquino administration to exert similar effort in resolving the high profile Maguindanao massacre case, as to what it did to former president Gloria Arroyo.
Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo said the government’s handling of Arroyo’s electoral sabotage case only show that it can expedite things if there is a will.
“If they can have a speedy resolution on GMA’s case in a matter of overnight, they can also do it for the Maguindanao massacre,” Bagaforo told Catholic Church-run Radyo Veritas.
“If the government is serious and give top most priority on the resolution of the case, I think they have all the resources for that and they can do it,” he said.
But the way it appears right now, the bishop lamented that there seems to be no sense of urgency being shown by the national leadership.
“We are not satisfied. We are not pleased with the progress of the case… the way it looks, the speedy resolution of the case is not a government priority,” Bagaforo said.
A total of 57 people, including 32 journalists, were killed in the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre blamed on the Ampatuan clan, a prominent family in Central Mindanao.
Currently, the court trial is being conducted by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court under Judge Jocelyn Solis – Reyes twice a week, or every Wednesday and Thursday.
An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) also called on the public to keep the “fire” alive in seeking justice for the victims of the carnage.
“Sana lang ay huwag kalimutan na may mahahalaga ring kaso gaya ng Maguindanao Massacre ang higit na nangangailangan ng tulong at katarungan,” said Fr. Edu Gariguez of the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action.
“Sana kung gaano kasigasig ang administrasyon ni President Aquino kay Gloria para siya ay maparusahan, sana ganun din kasigasig na panagutin ang mga may kasalanan sa massacre,” Gariguez said. [CBCPNews]