“Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
A year has passed since the atrocious Maguindanao massacre took place but the litigation is nowhere near its completion and justice has not been served. The crime that ended numerous lives is deemed as one of the worst, if not the worst, crimes that have taken place in our country as Filipinos mass murdered fellow Filipinos all for political motives and an undying thirst for authority. Add to that, more than half of the casualties were journalists wanting to bring the truth closer to the people, hoping to keep the spirit of democracy alive for their hometown. Their lives were mercilessly ended, leaving the Philippines touted as “the most dangerous place for journalist all over the world”.
Unfortunately, it seems that justice will not be attained anytime soon. People believe that the progression of the case will remain sluggish as there are more than a hundred suspects and numerous witnesses are yet to be called to the stand. The estimated time of conclusion would be about a decade – a lifetime’s worth of waiting to have justice restored. Apparently, the return of the spirit of freedom and democracy may also take forever.
As long as the scare of the Maguindanao massacre is present in our country, journalists who bring the truth to the people would be apprehensive about presenting the facts to their fellowmen, especially with the threat not only to their own lives but also to their families’ as well. And as long as justice has not been met and no one is held accountable for the monstrous crime, similar callous criminals would still resort to these actions as very few of them are punished. We might never see the end of this.
This is not just a battle of political clans or journalists. It is a battle of all Filipinos. This is a battle for our rights and our freedom to speak. Time may have passed and events may have occurred in our history but we should never forget the injustices made against our people.
A year has passed since the atrocious Maguindanao massacre took place. How many years will we wait for justice to be served? How sure are we that this won’t ever happen again? What will you do?