Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre met on Monday over 30 relatives of the victims of Maguindanao massacre.
He said, they are accompanied by their lawyer Atty. Nena Santos to inquire on what could the Department of Justice (DOJ) do more in helping their case.
“We assured the relatives of the victims that the Department of Justice will not waiver in its support to give justice to them. Our support to them will not change. And if there is more we could do, aside from being the official prosecutor in this case, we will do it,” Aguirre said.
Aguirre said, he knows that the trial of the cases is dragging on because of the number of victims and accused.
In the past 8 years, 115 accused have already been arrested.
Two of them have been discharged as state witnesses, 4 died in detention including Andal Ampatuan Sr., and 5 have already been acquitted.
Currently, 103 accused remain on trial before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 presided by Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes.
Thirty-one accused have already concluded the presentation of their defense while 34 others are still presenting their defense.
The case has passed through six justice secretaries already, and Aguirre wants the case finished during his term.
“We are already seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. . . I think it will not be long anymore since many [accused] will just adopt the previous documentary evidence or testimony. Hopefully, I will be the last DOJ secretary who will handle this Maguindanao massacre case and it will be finished and we will have a decision.
The Supreme Court has previously issued guidelines that the trial court may render judgment separately on the accused who have concluded their defense. – Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue
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