Members of Kabataan Partylist and the College Editors Guild of the Philippines held a candle-lighting protest at the Boy Scout Monument in Quezon City Monday to condemn Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Vivencio Baclig’s decision to dismiss the rebellion case against the Ampatuans and other suspects of the Maguindanao massacre due to lack of probable cause.
“We have expected this. The rebellion case filed against them was designed and programmed to exonerate the Ampatuans at the onset. The rebellion case served as their defense against multiple murder charges. This is Arroyo and her allies at work,” said Vencer Crisostomo, Kabataan Partylist secretary-general.
According to Crisostomo, by placing Maguindanao under martial rule last December, lawyers of the Ampatuans were given an opening to embrace rebellion in lieu of criminal charges.
“If there was no case of rebellion, they would have been charged with 57 counts of murder and illegal possession of firearms. The Arroyo government is now allowing the Ampatuans and other suspects to get away with the most merciless massacre in recent Philippine history by passing them off as ‘rebels’,” he said. (Photos courtesy of Kabataan Partylist / bulatlat.com)