DAVAO CITY – Only two of the 12 prominent Ampatuans implicated in the November 23, 2009 massacre in Maguindanao are not running for any posts in this year’s elections: Datu Unsay mayor Datu Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan, Jr., and ARMM governor Datu Zaldy Ampatuan. Just as well, their wives and a daughter are running, records of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) show.
Journalists, media workers, and activists march to Mendiola to demand justice for colleagues slain in the Maguindanao Massacre. Read the story.
[autoviewer id=journalists-rally width=640 height=480]ON the eve of the observance of International Human Rights Day (December 10), journalists and media workers took to the streets in Mendiola, a stone’s throw from the seat of political power that is Malacanang Palace, in rage and grief. Their common call: Justice for the 57 victims of the November 23 […]
A report by the fact-finding team organized by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) for the Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists (FFFJ) on the killing of at least 30 journalists/media practitioners in the Maguindanao massacre.
The team was composed of representatives from the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), the Davao-based news organization MindaNews, the PCIJ, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) and the FFFJ.
Please be warned of the graphic nature of these photographs. All photos were taken from the Commission on Human Rights.
As a peace advocate who has considered Muslim Mindanao as my second region (after Bicol), I join so many others in their shock at and condemnation of what is now called the Maguindanao Massacre of 23 November 2009, likewise in expressing sympathies for the close relatives and friends of those who were killed, especially two fellow human rights lawyers, and calling for speedy justice and other necessary measures of redress and reform. There will never be enough words to describe this almost unbelievably depraved and inhuman incident.
THERE WERE 30 and not just 27 reporters and media workers who were killed in a manner brutal beyond description in Maguindanao, last Monday November 23.
The 30 media workers comprise more than half of the 57 confirmed casualties of what is now known as the Maguindanao Massacre, according to a list compiled and verified by the Humanitarian and Fact-Finding Mission of the Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists (FFFJ), a network of independent media organizations, including the PCIJ.
THE BODY count of the Maguindanao Massacre has gone up each of the past five days. The count is now at 57, with authorities continuing to sift through the blood-soaked dirt just outside the town of Shariff Aguak. Thirty of the victims were journalists and at least twenty-two were women. The women were raped and their genitals shot at close range.
Expect the numbers to change in the coming days. What will likely not change is the identity of the accused mastermind of the killings: a smug, round-faced blip of a man named Andal Ampatuan Jr., a local mayor and the son of a powerful political patriarch who is allied with no less than the president of the Philippines.
THERE was a time my colleagues at the PCIJ threatened to print shirts that said “I am not JJ” in front and “Neither is she my friend” at the back.
The (hopefully) feigned betrayal stemmed from the stories I was writing at the time about the Ampatuan clan, how its members wielded power, and the sorry state of public education in the province of Maguindanao.
It has been almost a year since fighting broke out between government forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front after the Supreme Court struck down the Memorandum Agreement on Ancestral Domain. While the story of the continued fighting still makes headlines, the story of the refugees who fled the fighting has been dropped from the frontpages and the line-ups of the major newscasts.
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