November 27, 2009
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) demands the creation of an independent commission, to include media representatives, to investigate the Ampatuan massacre and the events that led to it.
This is to help ensure that no whitewash will happen and to identify the roots and those responsible for this unimaginable crime.
The NUJP is also demanding the creation of a special court with a presiding judge of impeccable credentials to undertake the trial of the suspects.
The filing of charges against Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., the prime suspect in this barbarity, does not mean that justice for the 57 victims, their families and the Filipino people has been served.
Justice means that all those who have participated, directly or indirectly, those who ordered the slaughter and those who allowed it to happen are arrested, prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of our laws.
The dismal fate of the cases of 104 Filipino journalists murdered since 1986, 64 under the present administration, the low case of conviction — only four — warrants an impartial and transparent investigation especially since t the primary suspects are close allies of Malacañang.
The massacre raised the number of journalists killed since 1986 to at least 141, 91 under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration.
The NUJP will actively support an international mission to the Philippines led by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) next month to investigate the killings.
We also call for support to the IFJ-initiated Global Day of Action to be held on December 9 to condemn the killings and demand justice.
Nestor P. Burgos Jr.