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Children's Rehabilitation Center expresses condolences to kin of victims of Ampatuan massacre in Maguindanao

First and foremost, our organization condoles with the family and relatives of the victims who were mercilessly killed in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao.  Many of those killed were women, including two people's lawyers, who were unarmed and were on their way towards following the democratic process of filing the candidacy of their kin for the coming elections.  Also among the almost 62 people killed were media persons who were there to cover the event and to facilitate the right of the public to information.

We are outraged at the blatant disregard for life and well-being, not just of the victims but their families as well.  The CRC has been witness to pains and fears of children who were orphaned by political violence, in particular State violence.  We have facilitated psycho-social processing of these children whose futures were rendered uncertain by the very State who has the responsibility to protect them.  We helped children of victims of killings and enforced disappearances, activists, lawyers and media people alike.  The usual questions that arose from children during such processing activities were very similar: "Why did the government allow this to happen to us?", "Why did they kill my father/mother when he/she was a good person who was just helping others?"  Or "Where is justice?"  For us, such questions were never easy to answer.  But eventually, these children realize the answers on their own and were encouraged to participate, in their evolving capacities, in reparative actions to facilitate their own healing. 

We urge the Arroyo government to let justice take its course, swiftly, if indeed there is still hope for justice given the state of our justice system.  It did not help that the alleged perpetrators were political allies of the President, or rather "friends", was the term used.  Most of all, it did not help that nary a perpetrator to the 1, 013 victims of killings and 202 victims of enforced disappearances was punished. 

For the psycho-social well-being of the families and relatives of the victims and the whole nation itself, we urge the end to culture of impunity.  Stop the killings!  Justice for the victims of the Ampatuan massacre! Punish the killers!