june 14, 2011 the corona supreme court allowed live televised coverage of the Ampatuan multiple murder trial, bowing to the clamor for transparency and the public’s right to know.
october 23, 2012. the sereno supreme court prohibits the live media broadcast of the Maguindanao massacre trial, bowing to the ampatuans’ rights to due process, equal protection, presumption of innocence, and to be shielded from degrading psychological punishment.
i blogged about this in nov 2010, a whole year after the maguindanao massacre. my beef then, as now, was, is, why the rights of the accused — in an open-and-shut case like this one — should be paramount to the rights of the victims and the public’s right to know.
the law is biased enough in favor of the accused. back in the ’90s i remember hearing the late quezon city regional trial court judge maximiano asuncion (branch 104) on tv saying that under our laws napakaraming karapatan ng akusado at iilan ang karapatan ng biktima o ng pamilyang naiwan ng biktima. to be sure, i googled it, and the issue turns out to be a very current one in the international arena, and there are continuing attempts to balance the rights of victims with the rights of the accused. check this out, and this.
of course the flip-flop only means another chain of motions for reconsideration atbp. which means a new round of delays, all in favor of the accused. and of course one wonders about the sereno supreme court. is this a show of judicial independence — that the president favors a televised trial does not count — or is this the beginning of a series of reversals, an augury of things to come?