WALANG FORGIVE AND FORGET: Mahigit isang dekadang anibersaryo ng Maguindanao Massacre, ginunita

WALANG FORGIVE AND FORGET: Mahigit isang dekadang anibersaryo ng Maguindanao Massacre, ginunita

 “Walang Forgive and Forget” ito ang lintanya na ginamit para gunitain ang ika-12 taong anibersaryo ng malagim na insidente sa hanay ng media—ang Maguindanao Massacre.

Kahit mahigit sa isang dekada na ang nakalipas at dalawang taon na matapos ang partial promulgation ng kaso na nagpataw ng parusa sa ilang miyembro ng Ampatuan Family, hustisya pa rin ang nananatiling sigaw ng mga kaanak ng biktima at ilang grupo ng Journalists sa bansa para sa mga nasawing 58 katao kabilang ang ilang mamamahayag at miyembro ng media noong November 23, 2009 sa Bayan ng Ampatuan, Maguindanao

We continue to shout ‘Walang Forgive and Forget’ for as long as perpetrators of the Ampatuan Massacre remain unpunished, we shall continue to cry … ‘Walang Forgive and Forget’,” sabi ni Prof. Lucia P. Tangi, Founding Chair ng Journalism Studies Association of the Philippines, Inc. (JSAP), sa mensahe niya sa programa.

Para naman kay Philippine Press Institute (PPI) Executive Director Ariel Sevellino, mahalaga rin na mapag-usapan hindi lang ang nasabing insidente kundi ang kapakanan ng lahat ng miyembro ng media sa bansa.

“Importanteng wag kalimutan ang diskusyon while we commemorate this every year, dapat in all the days and months of the year ay kailangan natin pag-usapan yung importante not just that incident pero yung entirely the media welfare ng ating mga kasamahan lalo’t lalo na po yung talagang nahirapan during this pandemic, lalo na po yung mga kasamahan nating nawalan ng trabaho at pinagkaitan ng karapatan or ng oportunidad mabuhay,” paliwanag ni Sevellino.

Talbo ng kaso

Ibinahagi naman ni Presidential Task Force on Media Security Chief of Staff Atty. Perry Solis ang ilang mahahalagang bagong datos sa nasabing kaso.

Ayon kay Atty. Solis, Enero 2020 ay nasakote ng otoridad ang apat sa mga akusado na sina Gambayan Kasim, Faisal Dimaukom, PO1 Alfie Pagabanga at PO1 Ysmael Baraquir habang nahuli naman si Andami M. Singkala ngayong 2021.

Kanya ring ibinahagi ang desisyon ng Court of Appeals (CA) sa naging acquital ng mababang hukuman kay SPO2 Badawi Bakal. “In the decision, the CA ruled that the lower court committed gross misapprehension of facts in the use of discretion amounting to a void judgement when they acquitted the accused.” Paliwanag ni Solis.

Please take note, in our judicial system, justice system, rarely that a decision of acquittal is overturned, because please take note of the principle of double jeopardy,” dagdag pa nito.

Sabi pa ni Solis na patuloy ang paghahanap ng otoridad sa iba pang maysala sa nasabing insidente. “In spite of the fact that our judging system is low, please take note that who are accused of media violence are found guilty, so as of today, 86 of them have been found guilty by our court,” ani Solis.

Iginiit naman ni National Union of Journalist of the Philippines (NUJP) Chair Jonathan de Santos na pitumpo’t walo (58) ang naging biktima ng Maguindanao Massacre na sa tala ng korte ay pitumpo’t pito (57) lang dahil hindi pa nakikita ang labi ng isa sa naging biktima na si Reynaldo Momay.

That decision was not the end for the fight to justice, although many including NUJP, hailed the court decision as triumph of justice for the victims of the worst of electoral violence in Philippine History, and the deadliest attack in the Journalist in the world, we rejected the notion that the cases are already resolved,” paglalahad ni de Santos.

Panawagan ng pamilya ng biktima

Patuloy naman ang panawagan ng mga kaanak ng biktima ng malagim na insidente. Katunayan, kanila ring ipinupunto na 58 ang naging biktima noong araw na iyon.

In behalf po sa Justice Now, yung families at saka sa relatives ng mga biktima ng massacre, bale meron kaming apat na part na pwedeng ipaabot sa mga lahat ng nag-join sa webinar ngayong hapon, unang-una yung patuloy na paghanap ng hustisya sa kaso, ikalawa po yung panawagan namin na fight for 58 kasi meron kaming isang kasamahan yung si Reynaldo Momay na sad to say na hindi nakasama roon sa desisyon ng court, na pinalabas noong December 19, 2019,” paglalahad ni Emely Lopez, Chair of Justice Now at isa sa kaanak ng biktima.

Ipinahihinto rin ni Lopez ang paggamit sa insidente ng ilang media group para makalikom ng pondo.

Stop using the incident, kasi kami nga mismo yung pamilya, ayaw naming humingi ng tulong kasi mas marami ngayon oh pandemic maraming dapat tulungan,” ani Lopez.

Hiling din ng mga kaanak ng mga media workers na nasawi na sana ay matapos na ang pag-atake sa hanay ng mga ito.

So we are calling no na sana, tama na yon, tama na yung dahas.” Panawagan ni Lopez. DZUP

WALANG FORGIVE AND FORGET: Mahigit isang dekadang anibersaryo ng Maguindanao Massacre, ginunita

Webinar marks 12th anniversary of Ampatuan Massacre

The Journalism Studies Association of the Philippines (JSAP) and the Philippine Press Institute will host a forum commemorating the Ampatuan Massacre on Friday, November 19 at 1 p.m.

The webinar, called Walang Forgive and Forget: Ampatuan Massacre and the May 2022 Elections, will tackle pressing issues faced by journalists today.

Atty. Perry Solis of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security will open the forum with updates on the Ampatuan Massacre case. National Union of Journalists of the Philippines chair Jonathan de Santos will talk about the continuous fight for justice.

The program will also feature messages from relatives of the massacre’s victims.

A dangerous country for journalists

On November 23, 2009, 58 people were killed and buried on a hilltop in Ampatuan, Maguindanao. 32 of the victims were members of the media who were supposed to cover Toto Mangudadatu’s filing of candidacy for governor against the ruling Ampatuans.

JSAP Founding President and Chair Lucia Tangi said that the webinar aims to remind people, especially young journalists, of the dangers the profession entailed.

“We want people, especially students of journalism and communication who were probably in grade school when the massacre happened, to remember how dangerous our country is for journalists,” she said. “At the same time, I hope [the younger] generation will strive to make our country a safer place to practice journalism.”

As of Nov. 15, 62% of the 123 registered participants are students. Other participants include media practitioners and educators. 

The Ampatuan Massacre is considered the world’s single deadliest attack on journalists. This helped cement the Philippines’ place as one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist. 

Moving forward

In the webinar, Red Batario of the Center for Community Journalist and Development will be discussing the country’s plan of action for the safety of journalists in the Philippines. 

Participants of the webinar also expressed their hope to protect the country’s journalists and defend press freedom. 

“Discussions such as this are important because it guides us on how we can move forward and prevent the tragic incident from happening again,” said one of the registrants. 

Tangi emphasized the importance of talking about the role of journalists in politics especially with the 2022 elections coming up. 

“The massacre happened during an election period […] Journalists must learn the lessons from this,” she said. “Journalists must always think of their safety especially in a country that is considered as a dangerous place for journalists.”

The webinar will also hold an open forum for participants who wish to know more about the topics discussed. 

“The lessons that I would learn in this webinar would be a great help for my mini-talks with my org mates, friends, and acquaintances,” one of the participants said. 
Interested participants to the forum may still register here. DZUP

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