Former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go said he is willing to help relatives of Maguindanao Massacre victims even as he called for the conclusion of the trial of the suspected killers on the commemoration of the incident’s 9th anniversary on Friday.
“Sa mga pamilya ng mga naiwan ng biktima sa Maguindanao Massacre, sa mga naulila at mga naiwan, ano man ang pwede ko maitulong sa inyo in my capacity right now lalong lalo na po sa media, willing po akong tumulong sa inyo, sa pagpapagamot o kahit ano mang kailangan,” Go said in a recent ambush interview while visiting fire victims in Pandacan, Manila.
(To the families left by the victims of Maguindanao Massacre, to those orphaned and left, whatever I can do to help to you in my capacity right now especially to the media, I am willing to help you; for medical treatment or whatever needs.)
“Ako rin po ay isa sa mga nananawagan para matapos na at masarado na ito, para mabigyan ng hustisya ang mga biktima ng Maguindanao Massacre,” added Go.
(I am also one of those calling for the conclusion and closure of the case and the giving of justice to the victims.)
“It was a big loss to our society, particularly to community journalism, those who were killed. I offer my deepest sympathies to the families of the victims. I am one with you in remembering the heroic lives of your loved ones,” he said.
A total 58 people, including 34 media practitioners, were brutally killed on 23 November 2009. The slain victims were on a convoy to file the certificate of candidacy of Esmael Mangudadatu as mayor with the journalists accompanying them to cover the filing. Mangudadatu was challenging Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., who was suspected of planning the massacre and killing some of the victims.
Then incumbent Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. was also implicated in the killing of Mangudadatu’s wife, his two sisters, journalists, lawyers, aides, and motorists who were mistakenly identified as part of the convoy.
Go recalled that he was called by then vice mayor (Esmael) Mangudadatu when his relatives and the journalists were reported missing and asked for help from then mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
“We quickly gave help during the time,” said Go.
Go said he continues to grieve for the families of the victims as well as the whole media community who are still seeking justice for the victims.
“The role media play is important in society. They are the primary source of information so it is also important that we can have them as partners in promoting the progress of each corner of the country,” he said.