After years of waiting for justice, the daughter of Maguindanao massacre victim Reynaldo "Bebot" Momay, a photojournalist, could not help but express her dismay over the ruling of the Quezon City court on Thursday.
"Sad day for me and my family. Justice for my dad!" Ma. Reynafe Momay-Castillo said on Facebook.
Momay is considered as the 58th victim of the 2009 massacre although his body was never found. The court acquitted all the accused over his death due to reasonable doubt. It also dismissed his family's claim for damages.
The court, however, convicted many of the accused, including some members of the powerful Ampatuan clan, for the deaths of the 57 other victims.
Despite the missing body, lawyers of Momay's family maintained that there were evidence which proved that he was part of the ill-fated convoy that carried the victims, which included journalists, lawyers and relatives of then gubernatorial candidate and now Maguindanao Rep. Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu.
"The only trace we found of Reynaldo ‘Bebot’ Momay at the massacre site was a set of dentures. There was no body, no corpus delicti," said Romel Bagares of the Center for International Law (CenterLaw).
He said a dental technician testified during the trial that the dentures were made for Momay.
"There was an unbroken chain of circumstantial evidence placing him on that ill-fated convoy, up to the very last hour," Bagares said.
"There too was the owner of a motorcycle he had borrowed to go to the Mangundadatu residence to join the convoy [...] The borrowed motorcycle was recovered, but he was nowhere to be found," he added.
"I wonder how the Court appreciated these pieces of evidence." —Joahna Lei Casilao/KBK, GMA News