November 17, 2010
Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan today files Resolution 186 expressing the sense of the senate that the Maguindanao massacre trial should be made public through radio and television coverage of the court proceedings.
“It would be in the best interest of our judiciary to have transparency in the judicial process, especially in such an unprecedented case of brutality that captured the attention of the international media. The Constitution recognizes the right of the people to public information on matter of public concern.”
The senator also notes that having the proceedings twice a week is the right step.
“If we have it twice a week, and if we make that transparent by broadcasting the trial live, then that would facilitate the speedy dispensation of justice because the court knows that the whole world will be watching.”
Pangilinan adds that the courts should be careful not to play into the delaying tactics of the defense.
Prosecutors have been complaining of delaying tactics from the Ampatuans’ lawyers.
“The prosecution has 227 witnesses while the defense has 373. May mga nababalita pang mga delaying tactics. Hindi yata maganda ang tinatakbo ng kaso. Isang taon na ang nakalipas. Namatayan na nga tayo ng isang prosecutor (Senior State Prosecutor Leo Dacera died of a heart attack Nov 4, 2010). Kung gagapang ang kaso ng matagal, e tila ‘di natin makakamtan ang tunay na hustisya.”
“My fear is that this dark moment in our history will be trivialized as years pass. The government is duty-bound to uphold the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. While the accused is entitled to due process, the victims, their families and more importantly, the public also have the right to be informed of the actual, transparent and impartial court proceedings.”
Image Source: Aljazeera