DOJ decision on Ampatuan murder case reeks of 'debt service', sets stage for Election-Related violence - Maza
'Debt service' was how Makabayan-Nacionalista senatorial bet Liza Maza called the Department of Justice's decision to acquit two members of the Ampatuan clan who are primary suspects to the Ampatuan, Maguindanao massacre in November 2009.
"Tila nagbabayad ng utang si Pangulong Arroyo at si DOJ Secretary Alberto Agra sa mga Ampatuan," Maza said.
It has been reported that the Ampatuans helped the Arroyo administration stay in power in 2004 by manipulating the outcome of the national election in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao which ended in a landslide vote in favor of the president.
Sec. Agra, on the other hand, was reported to have served as a counsel for the Ampatuans in the 2007 elections. He also represented President Arroyo during the "Hello Garci" scandal investigation in the Senate.
According to Maza, the evidence cited by Sec. Agra as the basis for clearing ARMM Governor Zaldy Ampatuan and Akmad Ampatuan on the multiple murder cases can be easily manipulated. Sec. Agra, Maza said, should have given more weight to the testimonies of the witnesses.
Maza also warns that the DOJ decision might set the stage for future election-related violence nationwide.
"This sends the dangerous message that violence during the period of election is normal and is allowed under the law," Maza said. ###