Yesterday, starting at 5:30 in the afternoon, I joined a protest rally and die-in to commemorate the 5th month since the Ampatuan Massacre. This was held at the centennial park and participated by various civil society groups, media people and lawyers' organizations. There were three of us who led the opening prayer - a Muslim religious leader, a Lumad leader and myself. This is the text of my opening prayer:
O God of justice, 5 months after the gruesome Ampatuan massacre we gather to remember the victims and express our indignation over the recent development.
The Secretary of Justice has hastily cleared two of the accused without even going through a trial, ignoring the recommendations of the government prosecutors. By doing so, he has made himself an instrument of injustice.
We wonder what sinister motives are behind this move. Is this because they are friends of the president? Is this part of the scheme to ensure the Ampatuans will once again manipulate the results of the elections that will favor the candidates of the president?
We are alarmed, Lord. The release of the two Ampatuan scions will restore them to their previous powerful positions and that will make it easy for them to harass or brive the witnesses and the families of the victims.
Lord, as we denounce the miscarriage of justice, we continue to pray that justice will be given to the victims of the massacre.
Grant us also the courage to continue our struggle for justice.