"Wowowee" stampede victims happy over court decision

With the Supreme Court clearing the way, the surviving families and victims of the Wowowee stampede tragedy in February 2006 can now file a case against ABS-CBN officials.


The families of the victims of the Wowowee stampede applauded the Supreme Court's decision to junk the petition filed by ABS-CBN Corporation questioning the competence of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in handling the investigation of the February 4, 2006 tragedy.

Yesterday morning, January 29, the Supreme Court upheld the capacity of the DOJ and affirmed its jurisdiction over the case. The high court also defended DOJ Secretary Raul Gonzales against allegations that he had prejudged the case by announcing to the media that ABS-CBN was careless in its duty to keep an eye on the possible horrible scenarios that could happen in staging such a grand event.

According to the statement issued by the Supreme Court, Gonzales's words were not enough to make him liable of meddling in the case. Charges can now be filed against some officials of the Lopez-owned network for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and injury.

JUSTICE SERVED. The surviving victims and the families of those who perished cited the court decision as a vital step towards justice.

To mark the second anniversary of the unfortunate incident, the victims revealed that they are planning to come up with a video documentary to remind the people of the tragedy, which illustrates the worsening economic condition of the majority. It is also a way for them to gain more sympathy and support as they push through with their legal action against the network.

ABS-CBN remains steadfast in helping the orphans of the victims.

In the face of a looming court showdown, 71 Dreams Foundation Managing Director Fr. Tito Caluag said, "Hindi kundisyon ang pagtulong para hindi sila magsampa ng kaso. Hindi ito suhol na huwag kayo magdemanda. Hustiya 'yun, e. Hindi kami magkatunggali dito kundi magkasama."

The foundation was put up specifically to support and assist the families of the victims. "Ang tawag nga namin sa kanila hindi beneficiaries, e. Partners o katuwang dahil tinuturuan silang tumayo, hindi umasa sa doleout," continued Fr. Caluag.

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It was reported that even some of those who were able to get assistance from the foundation still expressed willingness to press charges against ABS-CBN.


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