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Newsmen, campus journalists, groups commemorate Maguindanao massacre

By Rhaydz B, Barcia

LEGAZPI CITY---The National Union Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Albay chapter and the Bicol Organization of Neo-journalists (Bonjour) of Bicol University College of Arts and Letters (BUCAL) jointly commemorated Friday last week the 9th year of the gruesome Ampatuan Maguindanao massacre.

Waving placards, the student journalists also reiterated the call for justice for the 58 Maguindanao Massacre victims, 32 of whom were journalists who were helplessly killed while in the line of duty.

Khrishna Kate Azotea, president of Bicol Organization of Neo-journalists of the Bicol University College of Arts and Letters (BUCAL) said that they have been commemorating the Maguindanao massacre every year but unfortunately until now the wheels of justice remain elusive.

“Today marks the 9th anniversary and almost one decade had already passed and yet the culprits have yet to be convicted,” she said

“Why does it take too long for the victims to attain justice? To be honest, this is a big threat to aspiring journalists like us. We are always asked if we are ready to die like the case of the journalists in the Maguindanao massacre,” she said.

Bonjour, in partnership with National Union of Journalists of the Philippines Albay chapter jointly conducted candle lighting at Bicol University here for the massacre victims.

Nine years ago, students of Bicol University in Legazpi stormed on the streets from Daraga, Albay to Bicol University as the country denounced the bloodiest single election- related violence in the country at that time. It was also decried as a gruesome attack on press freedom.

Cause-oriented Bayan Muna-Albay also conducted its separate candle lighting ceremony at Penaranda Park here.

Similar activity was also conducted at Plaza Rizal in Naga City wherein more or less 30 members of Anak Bayan Jovenes, Bayan Muna and Kadamay led by Francia Plegino and Mar Xavier Ampungan calling for an end to impunity.

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