NPC to appeal SC ruling on Ampatuan massacre live coverage

THE National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC) said it would appeal the reversal by the Supreme Court (SC) of its earlier position allowing the live media coverage of the ongoing trial of the “Ampatuan Massacre” saying it found the development “dismaying.”

“I have already asked the NPC’s legal counsel, Atty. Mike Mella, to study our legal options and if necessary, to file an immediate appeal.

“The reversal is not only surprising but also dismaying for the entire media community and human rights advocates everywhere,” said NPC president Benny Antiporda.

“While it would appear that the SC has taken into consideration the ‘right-to-privacy’ of the direct parties, the decision putting a ‘veil of secrecy’ in the court proceedings actually favours the camp of the suspects, the Ampatuan clan,” Antiporda said.

“To also conclude that media groups, to include the NPC, are “non-direct parties” to the case and therefore should be excluded from the proceedings is not entirely correct in our opinion.

“The records of the case would show that the NPC has been involved in this case from the very start considering that some of the victims are our members,” Antiporda pointed out further.

“To therefore preclude insinuations later on that something ‘sinister’ is happening behind the scene, that efforts are now underway to undermine public interest in the trial, it must continue to be open to the public to include its live coverage,” Antiporda said.

“Experience has taught us that as soon as a sensational case has been removed from the public’s attention, all sorts of ‘negotiations’ happen leading to the exoneration of the guilty parties and the perversion of justice.”

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