Palace lauds “guilty” verdict

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Sal Panelo: “Palace welcomes — as it respects — the decision of court convicting Ampatuans guilty as charged.” (Photo courtesy by tribune.net.ph)

MANILA, Philippines — Through Presidential Spokesman Sal Panelo, the Palace on Thursday, 19 November 2019, lauded the promulgation of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court convicting Datu Andal Ampatuan Jr. along with other members of the influential clan guilty of the murder of 57 people including 32 media personalities in the Maguindanao massacre case.

“The Palace welcomes – as it respects – the decision rendered by Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing shortly after the announcement of the guilty verdict.

Panelo said “those who disagree with the judgments of the court have legal remedies at their disposal” adding the Supreme Court “would ultimately render the final judgment.”

“For now, what is important is that the rule of law has prevailed.”

“The Maguindanao massacre marks a dark chapter in recent Philippine history that represents a merciless disregard for the sacredness of human life, as well as the violent suppression of press freedom,” Panelo said.

“This savage affront to human rights should never have duplication in this country’s history,” Panelo said. “While the promulgation of judgment on the case is done, the narrative on the protection of media workers is far from over.”

Panelo was also quoted as saying: “The President and the whole of government see this as a constant trial and is therefore still hard at work in building a nation where wanton acts of violence can be prevented so that any intention to threaten our democracy will not prosper even at its inception.” (IAMIGO/CNS)

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