Philippines justice department to resume trial of Maguindanao massacre

16:55, July 23, 2010      

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The Philippines' justice department will order the resumption of the trial involving the brutal murder of more than 50 people in southern Philippines last year.

Describing the Maguindanao massacre as a litmus test to the country's judicial system, Secretary of the Justice department Leila de Lima said that if Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 22 fails to come up with an order for the resumption of the trial as soon as possible, her office will file a motion seeking for the resumption of the hearing by next week.

"We are very conscious of the fact that these trials (against the suspects of the Maguindanao massacre) are the most important and most watched event. It's a litmus test to our judicial system. Whatever happens here would speak a lot about our judicial system, " she said.

The administration of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III had vowed to work on its speedy trial which involves the powerful political clan Ampatuan, the primary suspects to the massacre of the 57 people, including 30 journalists and women in November 23 last year.

The victims, the justice secretary said, should get the " rightful verdict" and had likewise ordered the strict implementation of no cellular phones in Bicutan jail in Taguig City where the prime suspects are being detained. De Lima had also sought the approval of the Supreme Court to relieve Reyes of other cases so that she could focus on the Maguindanao massacre.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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