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P-Noy: Live coverage of Maguindanao massacre hearings would show the world 'justice is taking its proper course'

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A live media coverage of the Maguindanao massacre hearings would not only be a comfort to the relatives of the victims but would show the world that "justice is taking its proper course," President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" C. Aquino III said Tuesday.

The massacre claimed the lives of 57 civilians, including 15 women and 30 media practitioners in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao exactly a year ago.

"You and I, and the respective independent branches of government we head, are duty-bound to uphold the Constitution and our laws. We are all bound to ensure that justice is done and her interests served.

"Furthermore, we need to make people aware of, and convinced that, justice is being done and her interest served. This can be done by making the trial of important and sensational cases such as the Maguindanao massacre case, public," President Aquino said in a Nov. 22, 2010 letter sent to Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Renato Corona.

The Maguindanao massacre case is being heard by Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 221 Presiding Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Detention Facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig City.

The President said that he is aware of the SC's current stand against live media coverage of court proceedings.

However, the President pointed out that live media coverage of the Maguindanao massacre hearing "will be educational for the rest of the people to find out what actually transpired, the reasons behind the atrocity and what steps should be done to prevent the same from happening again."

"The more who participate in this great teaching and corrective experience, the faster and the greater the chances will be of this tragedy never being repeated again," President Aquino said.

A group of journalists earlier asked the SC to allow a live media coverage of the hearing.

They noted that the SC allowed a live media coverage during the trial of the plunder charges before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan against former President Joseph "Erap" Ejercito Estrada.

SC Spokesman and Court Administrator Atty. Jose Midas Marquez said it will be studied and be part of the justices' deliberation in its en banc (full court) session. (PNA)





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