Thursday, November 22, 2012

Speed up wheels of justice for Maguindanao Massacre victims

We urge the Philippine National Police to ensure the safety and protection of kin Maguindanao Massacre victims who have been reportedly receiving threats from anonymous entities. We also urge the Judiciary to speed up the wheels of justice in the case, which has yet to achieve more breakthroughs since Ampatuan Sr., his son, former Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., his other son, Zaldy Ampatuan, the former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao were implicated and jailed for the massacre.

The Maguindanao Massacre case will be the benchmark of how far our justice system has progressed from previous administrations, whether we like it or not. It is then extremely urgent that we exert all efforts to resolve this case as swiftly as possible.

The massacre of 58 people three years ago, most of which are journalists, is said to be the worst political violence that took place in the Philippines in recent history.

That act was so brazen and so dastardly—it is horrifying to think that anyone is capable of doing this, and yet it happened. We must not allow this massacre be trivialized and buried in the annals of our history by the slow grind of our wheels of justice.

It isn’t only the Ampatuans and their co-accused that are on trial here, but the entire system of justice. The failure to render a timely and just judgement is an indictment on the capacity of the nation to serve justice.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bite the bullet, address fisheries sector woes

We call on the government to focus on arresting the slow decline of the output of the country's fisheries sector.

The government needs to designate an Undersecretary for Fisheries as a crucial first step. It would be a waste of an immense natural bounty if we fail to address the issues that hound our fisheries sector.

While the Department of Agriculture has made tremendous headway in modernizing the country's agriculture sector it cannot afford to leave behind the fisheries sector.

Our national territory is 1/5 land and 4/5 water. We must ensure that we achieve a balancing of priorities and not leave fisheries behind. We must allocate a considerable amount of our resources both human and material to address the fisheries sector's many concerns.