Sunday, December 27, 2009

Forgotten Maguindanao massacre victims--the Lechonsito couple

I'm posting below a letter to the editor from the Philippine broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Preliminary hearings are now being done to the suspects (the Ampatuans of Maguindanao province and their private army) in the Maguindanao massacre or Ampatuan massacre, where 57 persons were brutally killed because of presumably a conflict between two powerful families.

Forgotten massacre victims
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:52:00 12/27/2009

I AM KATHRINA FLEUR LECHONSITO Serrano. I am a niece of two of the victims of the Maguindanao massacre—Eduardo “Nonie” Lechonsito and Cecil Lechonsito. My mom is the sister of Eduardo and we really appreciate Ceres Doyo’s Dec. 24 column. Our lives will never be the same again after they were killed. They left two daughters, aged 19 and 23.

We can’t describe the grief the girls are experiencing right now. Their parents were just innocent motorists who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Their mother was just here from Qatar for the graduation of the elder daughter in March and to spend Christmas with the family after two years of being away. Now, their parents won’t be spending any Christmas, graduation or special occasion with them.

We want justice for them and we want our voices heard. My cousins and mom were interviewed by Kiri Dalena for ANC, but aside from that documentary, nobody seems to be interested in my Tito and Tita’s story, or the stories of their companions in the red Vios. We would like to bring to the public consciousness that there were other innocent victims in that massacre who were not even part of the convoy. My Tito and Tita just wanted to go to the hospital for the CT scan of my Tito, who suffered a mild stroke two days before. His loyal staff, Mercy Palabrica and Darryl de los Reyes accompanied them. We can just imagine how they pleaded for their lives. They were not violent persons and for them to die the way they did is hard to accept.

We are a very close-knit family, and it is not only their daughters who are in anguish. All of us in the family can’t find an answer to why they were included in the massacre.

We don’t know how we could let the whole world know about their story. We want them also included in the search for justice for the Ampatuan massacre victims.


No comments: