VIDEO: Vigil marks 1000th day of Maguindanao Massacre
August 21, 2012 Leave a comment
By Red Batario
Decrying the slow pace of the trial of the Maguindanao massacre case, over a hundred journalists, media workers, students, and activists gathered for an overnight vigil Sunday, 19 August to commemorate the 1,000th day of the gruesome killing that left 57 people dead, including 32 journalists.
They also lambasted the government for its failure to stop the continuing killing of journalists and media workers saying the culture of impunity prevailing in the country has yet to be addressed.
An official of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), one of the organizers, said that the Aquino administration is not doing much to stop the killings, adding that in the case of the Maguindanao massacre, some families of the victims were being bribed to drop charges against the suspects.
The killings were allegedly carried out by the Ampatuan clan (led by its patriarch Andal) on November 23, 2009 to prevent a political rival from filing his certificate of candidacy to challenge the clan. Some 196 suspects have been named but more than a hundred are still at large.
The International News Safety Institute has recorded the deaths of two journalists in the Philippines this year while three cases are still under investigation.
Red Batario is the Regional Coordinator for Asia-Pacific for the International News Safety Institute.