News in Pictures: Journalists Express Outrage Over Dropping of Charges vs Ampatuan Massacre Suspects

BACOLOD CITY — Journalists expressed their outrage over the dropping of murder charges against Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor Zaldy Ampatuan and cousin Akmad Ampatuan, the alleged masterminds of the Maguindanao Massacre.

Members of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) from Bicol, Cebu, La Union, National Capital Region, and Negros chapters joined the Negros Press Club (NPC), National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), and Kabataan Partylist Negros in a rally in front of the Monument for Fallen Journalists in Bacolod City Sunday.

“Like clockwork, the Department of Justice decided to drop murder charges against the two Ampatuans, known allies of Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo. With the elections less than a month away, we see this as a testament to Ms Arroyo’s control of this department, among others. Though she is no longer the Chief Executive, she will still need to have branches of the government beholden to her to avoid prosecution for her crimes,” Vijae Alquisola, CEGP national president said.

NUJP said that the principles of justice, rule of law and democracy never existed under the Arroyo government. “It is proof of what we have suspected almost as soon as it became apparent that a clan known to be one of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s closest allies might be linked to the worst election-related violence in our country’s recent history AND the worst single attack on the media ever – that this administration would do everything within its power to assure they would not be held accountable,” the group said in a statement. (Photos by Owen S. Bayog/Negros Daily Bulletin and Anne Ednalyn Dela Cruz/

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