January 23, 2012
Pauline Gidget Estella
National Deputy Secretary General
Campus journalists from NCR joined the flash mob protest action held in front of Mendiola Peace Arch today, January 23, to condemn the government’s failure to deliver justice for the victims of Maguindanao Massacre, which is now on its 26th month, and to other victims of human rights violations.
The massacre was described as the single most brutal incident for journalists, wherein 58 people, including 32 media men were shot to death in broad daylight.
“The Maguindanao Massacre is a haunting reminder of the culture of impunity in the Philippines,” said Pauline Gidget Estella, National Deputy Secretary General of College Editors Guild of the Philippines, the widest alliance of student publications in the country. “The slow pace of the trial and the refusal of the court to allow the presentation of vital evidence proved the government’s lack of determination in imprisoning the guilty,” she added.
A cellphone found hidden in one of the victim’s underwear, which the victim herself had used to send a text message to ask for help whilst telling some detail of the event and which is believed vital to the case has been blocked to be presented.
In the action, campus journalists wearing a black cloth and a white mask slowly walked from within commercial establishments, such as Jollibee, and the LRT station, to the Peace Arch. The protesters carried placards with “End impunity!” “Justice for the victims of Maguindanao Massacre” and “Duguan and tuwid na daan” written on them. A short program was then held in front of the Chino Roces statue.
“The fact that the blockage of the evidence proves how injustice can prevail even in a court of law,” said Estella. “As history has shown, the people, with their hands under the table, can manipulate the course of events and still make it appear to the public as a fair play. That is how brilliant and powerful they are. In the first place, this should not have lasted this long,” she explained.
“Without justice being served and without the guilty being convicted, every human rights violation, fascism, and extrajudicial killing will haunt the palace forever,” said Estella, adding that more extrajudicial killings and Maguindanao massacres will happen as long as the state considers progressiveness as a crime.###
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