By Jean Percel C. Bitoca
November 23 2009 – On this date took place the most barbaric, brutal, heinous massacre in history, when 58 people were brutally killed. Counting five years, we commemorate the loss of our fellow brothers and sisters during the Maguindanao massacre. 32 out of these 58 were all journalists. We all know that no one has the right to curtail the life of anyone, but come to think of it, why is it there are still people who have no heart nor soul in doing such barbaric deeds?
At this very point in time, the Philippines is considered as one of the most unsafe countries for journalists. A journalist, as defined, is the person who works with collecting, writing, and distribution of news and other current information.
Journalists play vital roles in the community for they serve as the medium for ordinary people to be able to know what is happening in every corner of the community. It is very sad that five years ago, we lost 32 good journalists who were just doing their part as citizen journalists.
How safe is the country for journalists? The government should pay greater attention to this because every year there is an increase in number of journalists who are getting killed. There should be better security and a law that would safeguard the rights and life of our journalists.
If these will continue, time will come there will be no journalists in the country, why? As aspiring journalist, I have that feeling of fear inside of me that someday, if I would pursue my dream to enter the world of being journalist, it is not that safe for me. Imagine, you just want people to know what is happening in the community, then the exchange for that is your life at stake.
This should be stopped! This is enough! This is too much! We appeal to the government to render the right justice for the victims of the Maguindanao massacre.
About the writer: Jean Percel C. Bitoca is a student of Sorsogon College of Criminology, Inc. and staff writer of The Enforcer, the college paper.