We rage again for another injustice, on the 5th month commemoration of the Ampatuan massacre. We, advocates for justice and peace must muster ourselves for a day of rage for the continuing injustice to the victims of the Ampatuan massacre aggravated by the callous decision of Justice Secretary Alberto Agra to drop charges against two suspected perpetrators of the Ampatuan Massacre.
We from Kalinaw Mindanao and Alliance Against Impunity in Mindanao (Aim) enjoin the people to collectively rage against injustice. We call for the reversal of Secretary Agra’s decision and his immediate resignation.
Let us condemn the culture of impunity and whitewash! President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should be held accountable for the crimes committed by her political allies and the perpetuation of the culture of impunity and injustice in her role to absolve and coddle warlords and criminals like the Ampatuans.
President Arroyo’s failure to dismantle private armies and the eventual release of the Ampatuans will further intensify election-related violence in Maguindanao and the possible retaliation against families who testified against the Ampatuans.
We call on candidates for this year’s national elections to condemn outright the government’s exoneration of the Ampatuans and the injustice suffered by the families.
We challenge the candidates to commit themselves in pursuing justice for the victims of the Ampatuan Massacre by ensuring that President Arroyo and other coddlers of political warlords and criminals are held accountable for the massacre. The next administration should pave the way for the filing of criminal charges and should support potential class suits from victims of human rights violations against Mrs. Arroyo even if she will imminently become a member of the House of Representatives or the Speaker of the House.
Let us condemn the ulterior motives of the Arroyo administration to perpetrate cheating and violence in the elections through the release of Zaldy Ampatuan, suspended governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Since 2001, the family has long played the role of ensuring the victory of candidates fielded by the Arroyo government and Mrs. Arroyo’s padded vote margin in 2004.
Let us continue our fight and rage against injustice!
Atty. Carlos Isagani Zarate, Alliance Against Impunity in Mindanao
Sr. Elsa Compuesto, MSM, Sisters Association in Mindanao
Amirah Ali Lidasan, Kalinaw Mindanao