NPC bewails slow justice for massacre victims

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MASSACRE ANNIVERSARY  National Press Club (NPC) President Joel Egco unfurls black drapes at the facade and spiral staircase of the NPC building in Manila to start the weeklong observance of the fifth anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre. PHOTO BY RUY MARTINEZ

MASSACRE ANNIVERSARY
National Press Club (NPC) President Joel Egco unfurls black drapes at the facade and spiral staircase of the NPC building in Manila to start the weeklong observance of the fifth anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre. PHOTO BY RUY MARTINEZ

VARIOUS media groups have launched various activities to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre where 58 people, including 32 journalists, were killed by armed men associated with the Ampatuan clan.

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On Monday morning, the National Press Club (NPC) building was draped in black cloth.

“After five years, justice remains elusive for the victims of the Ampatuan massacre in Maguindanao,” NPC President Joel Sy Egco said.

Egco added that the club is again joining hands with the Burgos Media Center and other progressive groups in marking the incident and in calling on the government to give justice to the victims as promised by President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

“Almost half a decade had passed, impunity reigns as masterminds and perpetrators of this worst case of media killings in history were still unpunished. The promise of President Aquino for swift delivery of justice for the massacre victims remains unfulfilled,” the NPC president said.

As part of the NPC’s weeklong activity, according to Egco, there will be a torch parade, musical concert and poetry reading on November 21, at the NPC compound in Intramuros, Manila.

A simple wreath-laying activity will also be done on November 23, the date of the massacre.

“We have decided to forego the usual protest march to Mendiola Bridge this year to air our call for justice. Four years of street protests under this administration has gained us nothing,” Egco said.

The fifth anniversary of the massacre will also be the focus of an international media group’s anti-impunity month activities.

In a statement, the International Federation of Journalists said their programs this month are part of the global campaign to end crime against journalists.

Meanwhile, in Quezon City, Sonny Fernandez, director of the National Union of Journalist of the Philippine, also slammed the slow delivery of justice to the victims of the massacre.

The NUJP will also hold a series of programs to commemorate the event, including an international mission led by the IFJ from November 20 to 24 in General Santos City and Manila, unveiling of installation art at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City and joining the Milyong Tanglaw para sa Katarungan at the EDSA Shrine on November 23.

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