CEGP-Cagayan calls for justice for victims of Maguindanao massacre

THE College Editors Guild of the Philippines – Cagayan Valley Chapter strongly condemns the Aquino government’s lack of efforts in serving justice to the victims of Maguindanao Massacre which is now on its third year.

‘Never forget’

32 out of the 58 people murdered in the Maguindanao Massacre were journalists and media workers.
“The Maguindanao Massacre had branded the Philippines as the second most dangerous country for journalists according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ),” said Liana Acuzar, chairperson of CEGP-CV.  “This is a reflection of the country’s alarming human rights violations,” she added.

With this as the recorded ‘single deadliest event for journalists in history’ by the CPJ, the incident had surely affected not only the bereaved families of the murdered but also of the Filipino masses. This is a manifestation of how desperate the attempts are in gagging the supposedly only channel of the people in voicing out their woes.

“Killing journalists is tantamount to the slow death of the citizens’ right to information,”Acuzar said.

Journalist killings were only brought by  the worsening crises in our society . Hence, CEGP CV urges everyone to remember always this glaring event that reminds us of our duty to constantly call for social justice.

Bashing the culture of impunity

Just like any other cases of human rights violations in the country, the Maguindanao Massacre had received the slow-paced response of the government. Until now, not a single person has been convicted of the crime.

With the culture of impunity reigning, perpetrators of human rights violations can still enjoy their freedom despite the numerous cases they should be accountable.

“We do not plead. Instead, we demand that the government should take immediate actions that will clear the thousands of cases still unsolved. We demand for justice that we should not be begging for in the first place,” Acuzar said.

Noting the circumstances that Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, the President’s father, was also a victim of human rights violations, it is a big surprise that Noynoy does not seem to establish a strong and firm opposition to such.

If he really is for the people, we challenge him to  sincerely take part in resolving the cases.
We will not cease to fight as long as more journalists are killed each year. We will not stop struggling as long as our basic rights are at stake.

“We, campus journalists believe that to be silent is also to side the oppressor. Hence, we join the plight of those who are concerned in fighting for genuine press freedom and destroying the culture of impunity as history shows that the threatening situation of journalist killings in the country does not exclude even the campus publications,” the group said.

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