November 10, 2011
As the second year anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre nears, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan challenges members of the police and the judiciary to bring justice to the two-year-old case and help put an end to the widespread killings and attempts to kill media practitioners around the country.
“Magdadalawang taon na matapos ang karumal-dumal na mga pangyayari sa Maguindanao. Hanggang ngayon ay naghinintay pa rin ang sambayanang Pilipino at naghahanap ng kasagutan at katarungan. Until when will we have to wait for justice to be served?” Pangilinan asks.
He also points out that, to this day, the Philippines continues to be a “hot spot” for media murders and other extra-judicial killings.
“Each year, we receive reports of journalists being killed, yet many of these crimes remain unsolved and their perpetrators remain at large. The most effective deterrent to crime is to determine the identity of these perpetrators, capture them swiftly, and bring them to justice immediately. The PNP chief, together with the intelligence, the justice department, and the judiciary, must act vigorously and swiftly to put an end to crimes against media practitoners.”
Pangilinan also points out, “The Maguindanao Massacre gave us international notoriety as one of the most dangerous places for journalists.We can certainly do without this dishonorable distinction.”
The senator’s call comes after reports that a radio broadcaster in Ozamiz City narrowly escaped an attempt on his life.
Since the Maguindanao Massacre captured worldwide attention in 2009, the Philippines has been tagged as “the world’s most dangerous peacetime place for journalists”. Several watchdog organizations and international governments are pressuring Philippine officials to address extrajudicial killings.
“Hanggang patuloy ang pagpatay ng ating mga mamahayag, hindi natin masasabi na tunay tayong malaya dito sa ating bansa. Kinakailangang magpursigi at magtulungan ang iba’t-ibang sangay ng pamahalaan upang tugisin ang mga masasamang elementong ito at bigyang katarungan ang pagkamatay ng ating mga napaslang na mamamahayag.”
“Until we can bring crimes like this to justice–or any crime for that matter–we cannot hope to achieve true progress, because there is no progress without peace, no real development without justice. If we want this country to move forward, we must first send out a strong signal that anyone who violates our laws will be made to account for their actions,” Pangilinan challenges.
Image Source: People’s Daily Online