PROTESTBROADCAST – A reenactment of what transpired in Maguindanao province in southern Philippines before the national election. The reenactment was held at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on May 17, 2010. – Jun Rapanan / Photoville International
On November 21, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, in cooperation with other media groups, is launching a Blog Action Day in connection with our commemoration of the second anniversary of the November 23, 2009 Ampatuan massacre and the first International Day to End Impunity.
As today, only two Ampatuans have been arraigned. Only 93 of the 196 accused have been arrested. Prosecution and defense lawyers have listed 300 and 320 witnesses, respectively, which, according to Senator Joker Arroyo, a veteran human rights lawyer and courtroom litigator, may take 200 years to present.
Meanwhile, the families of the 58 victims continue to suffer from the loss of their loved ones, most of whom were family breadwinners. Some of the children continue to innocently wait in vain for their murdered parents to come home.
On this day, we would like to invite all of you to use the power of communication and the Internet to speak out for justice and against the continued impunity with which those who wish to suppress freedom of expression impose the ultimate censorship – death – and how the apathy and inaction of government has made this so.
Let this be the start of a meaningful partnership as we forge onward together to realize the full expression of our rights and freedoms as communicators and as citizens of our country.
Below are some links that provide background information on the Ampatuan massacre and current status of the 57 counts of murder filed against the 196 accused:
“End Impunity: NUJP’s countdown to the Ampatuan Massacre’s second Anniversary” on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/End-Impunity-NUJPs-Countdown-to-Ampatuan-Massacres-Second-Anniversary/199834376758733)
NUJP (@nujp) on Twitter (http://twitter.com/nujp)
NUJP on Tumblr which features artworks of children of the victims of the massacre and other media killings. These artworks express how they are coping with the death of their slain parents (http://nujp.tumblr.com/).
Let’s do our share in not forgetting the fallen victims of the Ampatuan Massacre.
Rowena C. Paraan