International press freedom and free expression groups have declared November 23 as International Day to End Impunity. The International Federation of Journalists, Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, Freedom House, Article 19, Human Rights Watch and other groups will be holding activities worldwide to bring attention to unsolved killings in various countries, including the Philippines.
November 23 was chosen because it is the date of the gruesome massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao where 58 persons were killed, including 32 members of media. And just like in most of cases of extra-judicial killings in the country, justice remains elusive for the massacre victims and their families. All efforts must be given to the campaign for justice, in whatever way possible, both individually and as professional organizations or advocate groups.
In line with this, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP) have organized a poetry night. It will be a way for artists and journalists to pay tribute to the victims of Ampatuan massacre and other extra-judicial killings and express solidarity with the international community of freedom of expression advocates.
There will be 10 artists and 10 journalists to read the poems, all of which tackle the issue of impunity and press freedom. Most are original compositions, made after the massacre.
It will be an honor if you can join us in this activity. It will held on Nov. 17, 6:30 p.m. at Access Point (Sct. Borromeo near Tomas Morato in Quezon City).
Some of the media personalities have agreed to participate are: Ed Lingao of PCIJ, Francis Cardona of KBP, Bernadette Sembrano and Jorge Carino of ABS-CBN and award-winning film maker and journalist Jim Libiran. Among the artists who have been invited are: Pete Lacaba, Nanding Josef, Joel Lamangan, Angel Aquino and Bibeth Orteza. Bands and choirs will perform between poetry recitals.
For questions, please call or text Rupert Mangilit of NUJP (cp number 09279203652).
Prof. Bien Lumbera