58 victims, 196 accused, 0 is convicted- these, still, are the latest updates of the Maguindanao massacre. Three years have passed since the brutal bloodbath of innocent lives last November 23, yet nothing has changed. JUSTICE is still not served.
The news occupied the headlines if not all, probably most of the newspapers in the country for a long period of time. This just explains how prominent the gruesome event was. The Philippines even caught the world’s attention as the massive killing was tagged as the largest number of journalists murdered in a single incident worldwide where in 32 journalists and media men were defenselessly slain. And this year, Philippines is still on the third spot in the International Media Watchdog’s Impunity List. Hence, it maintained a disreputable distinction.
“Even after the horrific 2009 massacre in Maguindanao province… Philippine authorities have yet to effectively combat impunity. The prosecution of dozens of politically connected suspects in the Maguindanao attack has been marked by delays and marred by allegations of bribery and witness intimidation,” New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said.
Witnesses have been killed and court trials are now out of bounds. It is somewhat clear that the current administration does not truly care about resolving the case. Perpetrators of the massacre are still not given a plea. It goes to show that impunity continues to live in the country.
Many may have forgotten the violence on the main southern island of Mindanao, but not us together with the families of the victims, who until now cry the same cry and dream the same dream- JUSTICE!
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines – Mindanao condemns the delay of justice as the guild believes that justice delayed is justice denied. CEGP-Mindanao condemns the people behind the horrible execution be it from the master mind up to its accomplice. Above all, we condemn the passivity of the people who wish to hide in the silence than to struggle for genuine freedom, equality and justice. We condemn the cowards of the land!
Hence, we urge all members of the campus press to cry, to dream and to FIGHT with us. We challenge everyone to empathize to the loss of a mourning mother, wife, son and daughter. We invite all to raise their fists. Let us all help end the malignant spirit of impunity and continue to defend human rights and its forgotten defenders. We shall continue the fight be it in ink or blood.
We ignite every Filipino TO REMEMBER the 23rd of November.
A continuous call for action and JUSTICE to the victims of the Maguindanao Massacre!
Kindle your candle.
Kindle your desperation.
Monico P. Malubay