Media groups urge SC to allow livestream of Maguindanao massacre verdict

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A court is set decide on the Maguindanao massacre case on December 19

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 3) — A media group on Tuesday has formally requested the Supreme Court to allow media outfits a live coverage of the decision on the Maguindanao massacre trial that has been pending for over 10 years.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) along with the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, sent a letter to Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta, urging to grant the media permission to livestream the verdict. The Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 is set to decide on the case on December 19.

“The live coverage/streaming of the promulgation would allow the families and relatives of the 58 victims who may not be able to attend the promulgation in Metro Manila to hear live the reading of the court’s decision on the killing of their relatives,” the letter stated.

The families of the victims are mostly based in South Cotabato, General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao, it added.

The groups also argued that the live coverage of the verdict would “not be prejudicial to any rights of the accused” or would have any bearing on the case since the court would have already arrived at a verdict by that time.

Among the 58 victims in the massacre on November 23, 2009 were 32 journalists. The incident has been tagged as the world’s deadliest single attack against the media workers and the worst case of election-related violence in the Philippines. In an earlier statement, the NUJP said it expects “nothing less than a conviction” for those involved in the killings.