IBP hails massacre verdict

By: Atty. Domingo Egon Q. Cayosa
IBP National President

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) welcomes the much-awaited resolution of the Maguindanao Massacre Cases. Due process was observed and the rule of law prevailed. Let the lesson be learned that though our justice system is far from perfect, there is accountability and no one is above the law.

We thank Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes, the Prosecutors, as well as the Defense Attorneys  for doing their duties as officers of the court despite the difficulties, risks, and challenges.  The courage,  dedication, and professionalism of the Honorable Judge and of the  Prosecutors are commendable and worthy of emulation.

Lawyers understand that the great number of victims, accused, issues, witnesses, and evidence, as well as the need for proof beyond reasonable doubt, required close to ten years of trial. The special attention and treatment given the cases facilitated their resolution.

The wheel of justice in our country, however, remains slow compared to other jurisdictions. Justice delayed is justice denied. Delay breeds inefficiency, undue influence,  corruption, and despair. IBP, therefore, continues to advocate for “Justice Bilis, not Justice Tiis” and supports meaningful and comprehensive reforms toward the speedy disposition of cases.

We call for the prompt filling up of vacancies in the judiciary, public prosecution, and public attorney offices. We pray that magistrates at all levels responsibly meet the deadlines  for resolving cases set by Section 15 Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution which the Supreme Court has repeatedly interpreted to be mandatory. We seek better funding for the justice sector.  We encourage Filipino lawyers to avoid and call out undue delays.

We ask for the cooperation of other stakeholders.  Let us all resolutely work for genuine and lasting peace through timely justice.