In a resolution adopted by 390 delegates, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters condemned, in the strongest terms possible, the culture of impunity in the Philippines.
By RONALYN V. OLEA
MANILA – The 10th General Assembly of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters AMARC in La Plata, Argentina unanimously adopted a resolution, Nov. 13, calling on all its members to participate in the Global Day of Action on the Ampatuan Massacre on November 23, 2010.
On Nov. 23, 2009, 57 persons, including the wife and relatives of Toto Mangudadatu, the political rival of the Ampatuan clan, were killed allegedly by the private army of the Ampatuan clan in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao. Thirty-one journalists were among the dead and one of them remains missing.
AMARC is an international non-governmental organization serving the community radio movement in over 110 countries, and advocating for the right to communicate at the international, national, local and neighbourhood levels. AMARC has an international secretariat in Montreal. It has regional sections in Africa, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, North America and Asia Pacific and offices in Johannesburg, Buenos Aires, Brussels, and Kathmandu.
The Assembly has 390 voting delegates from 110 countries, according to Raymund Villanueva, director for radio of Kodao Productions, main host of Sali Na Bayan! program over DZUP 1602 and sponsor of the said resolution.
In the resolution, AMARC condemned, in the strongest terms possible, the culture of impunity in the Philippines, particularly the unabated killing of journalists, including community media practitioners and advocates.
In an interview, Villanueva said, community radio broadcasters committed to write news stories, editorials, messages of solidarity for the commemoration of the Ampatuan massacre.
Villanueva said a “Call to Action” webpage would be setup to encourage 5,000 members of AMARC worldwide to participate in the Global Day of Action spearheaded by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) .
The IFJ is the world’s largest organization of journalists. AMARC has bilateral relations with IFJ. In the Philippines, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) serves as IFJ’s local affiliate.
AMARC also called on the Philippine government to end the culture of impunity and work for justice for all victims of human rights violations in the country;
Villanueva said AMARC members would also send petitions to Philippine government agencies calling for a swift and fair trial of the criminal cases related to the Ampatuan Massacre and protection of witnesses from further intimidation and violence.
The Philippine delegation is composed of Kodao Productions, Radio Sagada, Rainbow Rights Project and Isis International. (Bulatlat.com)