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Reign of terror ends: De Lima hails Ampatuan’s conviction

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Warlords have “no place” in a democracy.

Senator Leila de Lima gave this warning on Thursday after the court handed down the guilty verdict on the some members of the Ampatuan political clan for their involvement in the Maguindanao massacre.

The Quezon City Regional Trial Court (QC RTC) meted life terms on 28 suspets in the ambush and killing of 58 people in 2009 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

“It has been a long and rigorous process in obtaining justice for the 58 victims of the most deadly incident of electoral violence and attack on the press in the history of the country,” De Lima said.

“This day will forever be etched in history as the day justice did not tolerate homicidal and monstrous abuse of power,” she said.

She added, “This victory would have never been achieved without the persistent private prosecutors who, since day one, have refused to succumb to the pressures and challenges of this case.”

De Lima lauded the efforts of the lawyers from the National Prosecution Service “who fought tooth and nail to ensure that no stone is left unturned in what has been regarded as the ‘trial of the century.'”

“Their efforts have proven that we will not take violence and impunity sitting down,” the detained senator said.

De Lima also commended QC RTC Judge Jocelyn Solis Reyes, “who tediously heard the case and had deferred career advancement, in the name of delivering complete justice to the victims of this gruesome crime.”

“Judge Reyes will be remembered for how she tirelessly weighed and appreciated the facts, which led to the conviction of the Maguindanao mass murderers,” De Lima said.

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