Six months after Ampatuan Massacre, Philippine media groups call on President-elect Aquino to end impunity

24 May 2010
Source: CMFR

The following is a statement by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR)—a SEAPA founding member based in Manila—on the sixth month of the November 23 massacre of 58 persons including 32 journalists and media workers. The Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists (FFFJ), the Center for Community Journalism and Development (CCJD) and several individuals signed this statement:

Towards A State Policy of Ending Impunity

The election of the new President and the formation of a new administration cast the sixth month anniversary of the 23 November 2009 Massacre in a more auspicious light. Or so the undersigned media and journalist associations would like to hope.

Engaged in the battle against impunity for years, we urge the president-elect, as soon as he is proclaimed, to commit himself and his government to take the necessary steps to shift government policy from the dire neglect and indifference that has allowed so many journalist killings to go unpunished. These require a range of actions to address the poor capacity of the police to investigate cases and preserve forensic evidence, the failure to arrest and detain suspects who have political patrons, and the paucity of resources for witness protection and speedy trials. All of these and more have encouraged the killing of journalists since 1986 to continue.

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CMFR (http://cmfr.com.ph/) is a SEAPA founding member based in Manila, the Philippines, working to promote ethical journalism and to protect press freedom.