Duterte to meet kin of Maguindanao massacre victims

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to meet Thursday the families of the victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre that took the lives of 58 individuals, including 32 media workers.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte will meet with them at MalacaƱang Palace at around 4:30 p.m. Thursday, November 23.

"If I'm not mistaken, about 16 of the families of the slain journalists (in Maguindanao massacre case) will arrive in MalacaƱang at 4:30 p.m. for their meeting with President Duterte later," Roque told reporters in an interview aboard the Metro Rail Transit- (MRT) Line 3.

"This is the first time the President will meet the relatives of Maguindanao massacre victims," he added.

November 23 marks the eighth commemoration of the Maguindanao massacre.

On November 23, 2009, a group of media workers, the wife of Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu, lawyers and supporters, were in a convoy on their way to Shariff Aguak to file Mangudadatu's certificate of candidacy for the May 2010 elections.

Armed men stopped the convoy and killed 58 people , including 32 journalists and Mangudadatu's wife. A backhoe was used to bury their bodies, as well as the vehicles in the convoy.

After eight years, justice remains elusive for the Maguindanao massacre victims as 197 respondents, including 15 people whose surname is Ampatuan, have not been convicted.

Of the 197 alleged suspects, 115 have been arrested. Some 103 of them are still under trial. (SunStar Philippines)
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