House Bill 8963, principally authored by Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu (2nd District, Maguindanao), seeks to declare November 23 a special nonworking holiday in the entire province of Maguindanao "to honor the memory of those whose lives were brutally taken in the 2009 Maguindanao Massacre and to serve as a reminder that such a deplorable act should not be allowed to happen again."
In the explanatory note of his HB 2221, which was substituted by HB 8963, Mangudadatu said that justice remains elusive for the 58 victims of the massacre, including 32 media practitioners.
"More than 150 witnesses and thousands of pages of documentary evidence were presented, but the special court handling the case has yet to issue a single verdict against any of the accused charged with 58 counts of murder," Mangudadatu said.
Mangudadatu further said that the massacre scarred not only Maguindanao, but the whole nation. As such, the event should not be allowed to reoccur, he said.
"Declaring November 23 as a holiday will also act as a reminder that Maguindanao and the entire Filipino nation should not allow such a deplorable act to happen again," he said.
House Bill 8963 is co-authored by Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado (1st District, Bulacan) and Committee on Revision of Laws Chairperson Rep. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (6th District, Pangasinan).