televise the trial

In spite of the fact that the Maguindanao Massacre is an open-and-shut case, with the guilt of the accused very clear, justice for the victims and their families is still far off.

Can’t P-Noy’s administration and the Supreme Court make the wheel of justice move faster? Why is it much faster in other countries but very slow in ours? It is this slow justice that encourages crime in the Philippines. Even if a criminal is caught, it takes the government many years to send him to jail. In the meantime, he is able to continue committing more crimes, kill, buy or threaten witnesses against him, or bribe even judges and justices and therefore escape justice.

Why conduct only two hearings a week for the Ampatuans? And why only two witnesses per hearing? The Maguindanao Massacre is the most cold-blooded mass murder in the history of the Philippines and it shocked the whole world. It should not be treated so cavalierly like most petty crimes. What is wrong with holding daily hearings with no limit to the number of witnesses to be presented daily? What is wrong with holding hearings the whole day? The other cases of the court trying the Maguindanao Massacre can be transferred to other courts. What’s wrong with that?

Too bad capital punishment has been abolished in the Philippines, thanks to the bleeding hearts. If there is anybody deserving of execution, it is those who were responsible for the Maguindanao Massacre.

i agree with neal cruz.   besides, 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, and this.

of course there is dissent. belinda olivares cunanan, once of the inquirer, now of the the blog political tidbits, is one of many who are against media coverage:

First, the print media are already doing extensive  coverage of the trial. Second, live coverage could exacerbate the already super-high nationwide tensions over the mass murders, sapping the national energies further and making independent judgment impossible for a judge already boxed into an extremely difficult position when she accepted the Ampatuan case. Moreover, as De Lima correctly noted, live coverage could violate the court’s rule prohibiting the witnesses from hearing the testimony of their fellow witnesses.

first, the print media, due to space limitations, never quite capture and report all of the proceedings; neither do broadcast media, due to time limitations.   second, the slooooow pace is already “exacerbating the already super-high nationwide tensions over the mass murders.”   let’s not worry about judge jocelyn solis-reyes — she’s doing a good job off-cam, i expect she’ll do a good job on-cam.   as for witnesses being influenced by the testimony of other witnesses, surely each one has executed an affidavit beforehand, and testimony beyond such would not get past defense lawyers who would be very vigilant about calling public attention to anything like that.   and, finally, a televised trial would not sap national energies, rather, a televised trial would ease the tensions generated by the 53 victims’ families’ woes exacerbated by the supreme court’s seeming indifference to their very valid grievances.

as for those who are afraid that televised hearings might prove a diversion (distracting from the aquino admin’s serial flops, flaps, flip-flops?) or even as a means of entertainment, i suppose they’re coming from lessons learned in erap’s impeachment trial that led to edsa dos.   but there was a lot that was laughable about that proceeding, which cannot be said of the ampatuan trial that is seeking justice for the 58 lives violently ended, massacred in one sweep, by a private army in broad daylight.

Sen. Joker Arroyo has warned that with almost 200 defendants and 300 witnesses it could take 200 years for justice to be meted out to both the perpetrators and victims of the Maguindanao massacre. If it should take long to prosecute the case, let it go the whole route. Fiat justitia, ruat coelum. Let justice be done though the heavens fall. But surely something can be done to speed things up. Probably the number of witnesses can be limited to the most important ones and marathon hearings can be held. Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of Quezon City Trial Court Branch 221 could also be relieved of her other cases so she can focus on the massacre trial.

The Maguindanao massacre trial should be no less important than the Estrada case, in which the fortune of one man was involved. Here the meting out of justice to 57 victims and 200 defendants is involved. The people also should know how a political Frankenstein’s monster was pampered and allowed to grow by a Machiavellian president to the point that they thought they would perpetually escape the clutches of justice. Televise the trial and let the people know.

yes, and hold daily hearings, eight hours a day, five days a week.   justice delayed is justice denied.

Slow wheels of justice encourage crimes
Balancing rights of the accused with the rights of the victim
Victims’ rights and the rights of the accused
Victims’ rights
Live trial coverage will exacerbate tensions
Ampatuan Watch: Elusive justice
Trials are not entertainment
Television and the Ampatuan trial
Televised trial
Former chief justice backs live feed for Ampatuan trial
Televise the trial


  1. UP nn grad

    People keep asking for a quick “GUILTY! VERDICT for those who are already in jail, which makes perfect sense because of the national outrage. Many yell for speed, CONVICT THEM NOW!!! I get a sense, though, that a few Pinoys-in-Pinas are actually asking for speed at any cost, with a kangaroo court being acceptable.

    SIDE-TOPIC : there are over 60 more accused which have not been found, arrested and brought to jail and (to me) this is part of the picture of the “justice delayed justice denied”. Those accused still free should be quick arrested and jailed. Bad enough they are free — worse is those still free are agents (for bribery, threats of violence, actual violence)… feared by witnesses and relatives of the victims.

  2. UP nn grad

    Sorry for the side-topic, but did you see this?

    President Noynoy Aquino went to Baguio to open the 700th Jollibee, BUT he didn’t even spend 30 minutes to talk to city- and province officials who had wanted to talk to him. Too busy cutting the ribbon and the photo-op // Noynoy “…declined an audience with Cordillera and Baguio officials seeking answers to various issues, including the repair of roads damaged by typhoons in 2009.”

    Sayang the helicopter-fuel, ang lungkot naman.

  3. @up

    i dont know why not meeing local officials is a problem.

    in the normal run of affairs, does the president/should the president have anything to do with the repair of roads in 2009?

    isnt this a budget issue? shouldnt they speak with their representatives?

    why do we want our president to do so many things, even things whose primary responsibility falls to someone else?

  4. UP nn grad

    I don’t know about you, GabbyD, but I think showing SOLIDARITY counts. Showing that he/Noynoy wants to listen to a big-picture worry of the Cordilleras and Baguio counts to citizens more than Noynoy showing appreciation to the corporation that shouldered food- and catering-costs of his campaign.

    Of course, I am aware of the 12 or 20 jobs that the new Jollibee outlet had created, but you can say that I trivialize that when compared to SOLIDARITY with governance.

    I guess this means you/GabbyD think and appreciate governance issues differently from me, and you are the citizens that Noynoy appreciates.

    Ganun lang iyon!!! Different folks, different strokes, such is democracy.

  5. “wala siya sa sarili dahil na-busted daw ni ms. uy? all of the above?”a

    sa abs cbn, basted daw. sa gma7, break up daw.
    ano kaya sa dalawa?

    ang basted, hindi ka nakafirst base. ang break-up, mag-on na, naghiwalay lang. mahirap talaga pag ang balita ay meant to divert attention sa mga iba pang mahalagang balita kagaya ng demo ng mga isko ng bayan.

  6. I just hope and pray that Sec. Delima and the supreme Court open their eyes and come to their senses to agree to create a special court ,just like the Erap plunder case, to try the Ampatuan’s since this is not only a crime against humanity but also against the political and entire govt instition since the perpetrators have used govt military and public resources to aggravate their abuse of power and maybe classified as plunder of our economic and institutional resources. A lone camera to monitor and record the proceedings which is available to the public should be allowed by the dispenser of justice.