Maguindanao Rep. Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu on Thursday expressed gratitude for the conviction of many of the accused in the November 2009 Maguindanao massacre, saying it was worth the 10-year wait.
"Hindi po sapat ang mga salita upang maihayag ko ang aming taos-puso at lubos na pasasalamat sa Diyos at sa inyong panalangin para sa amin," said Mangudadatu, who lost his wife and two sisters in the massacre.
"Ang sampung taong paghihintay ay naging makabuluhan dahil tayo ang kinatigan ng hustisya."
Mangudadatu issued the statement after Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes convicted principal accused Andal Ampatuan Jr. and dozens of others for the carnage that left over 50 people, most of them journalists, dead.
"Ako, kasama ang aking mga anak, kapatid at kamag-anakan…ang mga pamilyang naulila…ay lubusang nagpapasalamat sa inyong dalangin at suporta upang makamit natin ang katarungan," Mangudadatu said.
"Bagama't hindi lahat ng akusado ay nahatulan ng pagkakakulong, kami ay nagagalak pa rin dahil ang mga dapat masakdal ay nakatakda ng makulong pang habang-buhay."
The victims of the massacre were part of the convoy that was supposed to file then-Buluan vice mayor Mangudadatu's candidacy for governor of Maguindanao. At that time, he was challenging a member of the Ampatuans for the post.
The victims were shot multiple times in broad daylight by dozens of armed men working for the Ampatuan clan. —Llanesca T. Panti/KBK, GMA News