The families of the victims of Maguindanao massacre have asked Pope Francis to help them attain justice.
Hundreds of people, local officials and journalists visited the site of the country’s worst political violence on Friday morning where a mass was held to commemorate the Nov. 23, 2009 slaughter of 58 people, 31 of whom were journalists.
The families offered flowers in the site where the victims were killed, in Barangay Masalay, Ampatuan, Maguindanao, about eight kilometers from the national highway linking Cotabato City and Gen. Santos City.
During the mass, a relative of one of the victim-journalists read a letter addressed to Pope Francis who is set to visit the country next year.
The letter made a call for justice and expressed hope that conviction would come during the term of President Benigno Aquino III.
“In this place, guns were fired hitting our loved ones. In this place, our departed loved ones begged for mercy, in this place their dreams were abruptly ended. We ask your Eminence Pope Francis to help us attain justice for our departed loved ones,” the letter said in Filipino.
“Please pray for us to have enough strength so we can continue seeking justice. Give us energy so we can continue meeting both ends in our respective families. Give us the wisdom to do what is right. We are just ordinary Filipino people, we have no wealth, we are powerless but with your prayer and blessings, we hope we can hurdle all the difficulties until we get justice,” the letter read.
One of the widows said the visit of Pope Francis next year gives them the strong belief that justice will finally prevail. (PNA)