Thank you, Secretary Alberto Agra for confirming the truth that the Filipinos — thirsty for justice — can never expect anything from the Arroyo Administration.
You just dignified the growing distrust of the Filipino people on the government when you saw Zaldy Ampatuan and his cousin, Akmad, as innocent over the gruesome slaughter on November 23 of 58 civilians—32 of them our fellow journalists—even in the absence of due process.
When you wanted the two Ampatuans, who, according to witnesses were behind the killing of the 58 civilians, out of jail when murder charges were already filed and a commitment order was already issued, it showed how offensive and obscene you and the Arroyo administration can really get.
Thank you for allowing the world to see what we have long been crying out loud: That the Arroyo administration is the number one coddler of criminals in this part of the world—naturally as it is headed by the mother of all murderers, the President herself.
Thank you that the effort has become less for us to justify our declaration that the preoccupation of the Arroyo government these days is to further expand the prevailing culture of impunity, political patronage and warlordism — all these, of course, work for the benefit of an administration suffering from the lowest public satisfaction and highest public distrust ratings in history.
Your decision may have weakened the resolve of human rights advocates or the families of the victims—not only of the journalists—but not for long because we say, thank you, for giving us more reasons to come together with the collective desire and strength to hold you and your boss, President Macapagal-Arroyo, accountable for the lives of the victims of the Ampatuan Massacre and all the other victims of human rights violations that Arroyo allowed to happen under her watch.
Thank you for giving Filipinos more reason to resist yet another state-sponsored injustice. Thank you for teaching us to not let our guards down and for giving us the light to arise in rage.
JUSTICE FOR ALL THE VICTIMS OF THE AMPATUAN MASSACRE!
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines
Davao City Chapter