‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for its role in major news events

admin   •   December 18, 2018   •   1612


Still image of a protester sitting on lap of “Lady Justice” on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building | REUTERS

“Justice” is what most people sought on Merriam-Webster, among the world’s most popular dictionaries, as the U.S. publisher on Monday (December 17) named that principle of being fair as the Word of the Year for 2018.

Users looked up the word 74 percent more often than in 2017, Merriam-Webster Editor-at-Large Peter Sokolowski said for the website, which claims to be “America’s most trusted dictionary.”

The surge was prompted by specific uses of the word such as “obstruction of justice,” after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted in August that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election, the company said.

“Looking at the year through the prism of vocabulary by analyzing our Look-Up data reminds us that ‘words matter’,” Sokolowski said in a company video released Monday. — Reuters

Families of slain UNTV News Crew in Ampatuan Massacre hope to receive justice 10 years after

Maris Federez   •   December 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — After ten years of waiting and fighting, the families of the victims of the Ampatuan Massacre are hoping that they will finally get justice on what had become of their loved ones.

Read: Malacañang hopes justice for Ampatuan massacre victims on Dec. 19

Erlyn Umpad, the widow of McDelbert “Mac-Mac” Arriola, the UNTV cameraman who was among those killed in that fateful day dubbed as the worst election-related violence in the world, said the suffering she had gone thru is immeasurable.

“Ibigay nila sa’min yung nararapat sa amin kasi hindi lang isang tao yung pinatay nila,” she said.

Erlyn recalled that she just had given birth to their son, Japed who is now 10 years old, when the massacre took place.

She said the most painful and difficult thing to do is to explain to her child what happened to his father.

“Nung anim na taon, nagsisimula na siyang magtanong. Bakit lagi akong pupunta (sa Maynila), nakikita daw sa TV. Sabi ko, ‘hustisya ‘yan para sa tatay mo na namatay’. ‘Bakit namatay? Bakit hindi niyo dinala sa ospital? Di ba kapag nabaril, may sugat, dadalhin sa ospital?’ Bakit hindi daw dinala. ‘Yung hindi ko kayang ipaliwanag kasi,” she lamented.

Erlyn hopes that she will finally get the justice her family deserves when the case is promulgated on Thursday (Dec. 19).

“Sana matapos na bukas, mahatulan na talaga para — ayoko na nung dadating pa ‘yung taon na kumbaga ‘Mama, bakit wala pa ring justice?’ Parang baka siya pa ang makipaglaban, ‘yung sasama pa siya para hihingi ng hustisya. Ayokong mangyari ‘yun,” she said.

Erlyn said her fight now is not just about her husband, Mac-Mac, but also about her son who also wants to follow the footsteps of his father as a cameraman.

“Sana ibigay nila ‘yung katarungan kasi ‘yung anak ko ayoko na talagang malaman pa niya na yung tao pala pwede lang palang parang hayop na pwedeng ilibing lang pag namatay, babarilin na lang ng wala namang kasalanan dahil lang sa pulitika na pinag-aanuhan dito sa gobyerno,” she added.

Editha Tiamzon, wife of UNTV driver Daniel Tiamzon who was also killed in the massacre also hopes for justice for her husband.

She said that although she fears for the worst, she remains to have a positive outlook and that justice will side with them.

“Syempre nine-nerbyos ka. Iniisip mo anong mangyayari bukas, pero inaasahan namin na merong conviction,” Editha said.

Meanwhile, Atty. Harry Roque, the counsel for the families of the victims of the Ampatuan Massacre, said they hope for a “guilty” verdict on the accused.

This, he said, will prove that the judicial system is still at work, albeit turtle-paced turn of the wheel of justice.

“Sistemang bulok na umaabot sampung taon bago magkaroon ng desisyon. Ganun pa man, nakaantay naman ng sampung taon. Inaasahan naman namin na magkakaroon na ng katarungan,” he said.

Should justice chose not to side with them, Roque said he will no longer have any reason to stay in his profession and continue being a lawyer.

“Siguro, magreresign na ‘ko bilang abogado kung walang mako-convict diyan. Useless. Useless maging abogado kung ni-isa walang mako-convict diyan,” he warned.

Still, Roque said that some of the accused will be convicted, although some had posted bail and were freed.

Among them is Datu Sajid Islam Ampatuan who was released in 2015 after posting bail of Php 11.6-Million.

The 16 police officers implicated in the killing were also released. — (from the report of Harlene Delgado) /mbmf

Relatives of victims in Negros killings call on Senate for justice

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 27, 2019

Relatives of victims in the Negros Oriental killings called for justice at the Senate hearing on Tuesday (Aug 27).

In the latest record of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the New People’s Army (NPA) was allegedly behind five of the 11 killings in Negros Oriental.

Meanwhile, based on the record of Senator Risa Hontiveros, there had been 34 killings that happened in Negros Oriental this year which include the 14 farmers massacred in Nene, Sagay City, Negros Oriental last March 30.

READ: PNP Chief relieves Negros Oriental top cops over farmers’ killing

Juthida Callao, the mother of one of the victims, still laments the loss of her child.

“Ang sakit sakit sa kalooban namin na ganun ang ginawa ng NPA sa kanila, (What the NPA did is very painful to us),” she said.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Dangerous Drugs Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa assured they will do all means to curb violence in the area.

“We want to ensure that justice will be served and the perpetrators of the barbaric murders will be punished,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Grace Casin)

OFW deployment ban in Kuwait remains despite arrest of Joanna Demafelis’ employers – Malacañang

admin   •   February 26, 2018

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte shows photos of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who were reportedly abused in Kuwait in his speech during the oath-taking ceremony at the Malacañan Palace on February 13, 2018. ROLANDO MAILO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Until justice is attained for the murder of Joanna Demafelis, the deployment ban of overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) to Kuwait will remain.

This is the stand of the government despite the recent arrest of Demafelis’ former employers who are the principal suspects in her brutal death.

Malacañang welcomed the arrest by authorities after a weeks-long manhunt.

“We would like to see them prosecuted and punished for the murder of Joanna. As of now, the deployment ban stays,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

The Department of Labor and Employment  (DOLE) said that a technical working group will go to Kuwait on February 28, to meet with the Kuwaiti government about the memorandum of understanding that will pave the way for the protection of Filipino migrant workers.

“Yung TWG [technical working group] natin at yung TWG nila (Our TWG and their TWG) will meet, discuss and hopefully agree on a memorandum of understanding,” said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) has already located Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Global, the recruitment agency that sent Joanna to Kuwait.

However, the office, located in Room 406 MRS Building, Mabini St. Ermita Manila, had already closed when the CIDG arrived.

President Rodrigo Duterte has also ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the recruiter of Joanna.

“If they will not appear, then they will, of course, they could be taken into custody for investigation. But let’s see if they will voluntarily appear,” said the presidential spokesperson. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue




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