Campus journalists: It’s time to pay, Noynoy

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Photo by Union of Journalists of the Philippines-UP Diliman

“President Aquino promised in 2010 that he will give justice to the victims of Ampatuan Massacre. He has been in office for more than three years now but there has been no significant development in the case,” said Charina Claustro, CEGP-NCR Chairperson.

In the fourth year of the incident wherein a large number of media workers were killed, campus journalists expressed their indignation at the Aquino government’s inaction on the Ampatuan Massacre through a protest march to Mendiola in the afternoon of November 23.

“Aquino claimed early this year that the culture of impunity in the country has already ended under his administration. However, human rights violations still persist. In fact, he perpetuates impunity because the violators are not penalized under his rule,” said Marc Lino Abila, CEGP National Secretary General.

“President Aquino actually perpetrates and upholds the culture of impunity by his inaction to numerous violations of the rights of the Filipino people,” Abila added. “State instrumentalities such as the Armed Forces of the Philippines, with Aquino as its Commander-in-Chief, and paramilitary groups, are used in violating the rights of our people.”

“Campus journalists are not exempted from abuses,” Claustro pointed out. “Violations to campus press freedom and other democratic rights are also prevalent. The Guild is receiving several reports of violations of the rights of the campus press.”

“Also, despite the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution that the Philippine government should resolve the murder of former CEGP Vice-President for Mindanao Benjaline ‘Beng’ Hernandez, the Aquino government remains unresponsive to the appeals of the international and local human rights watchdogs,” Claustro explained.

“We are done with the continuous reign of impunity in Filipino society,” Claustro said. “Aquino should be held responsible for his inaction on these cases.”

“As campus journalists, we are tasked to expose the realities of our society. We, then, are also tasked to join the struggle of the masses against injustice and impunity,” Abila ended.###

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