By Joey Natividad
CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region -The College Editors Guild of the Philippines deplored the intensifying culture of impunity and worsening state of human rights in the country, reflecting on the anniversary of Ampatuan massacre, that “we remember the ruthless and barbarous attack ever recorded to journalists.”
Also under the Duterte regime, some student publications have experienced intimidation and threats from state forces, the Guild said.
“The most recent was on September 25 where five of our member publications in Camarines Sur were reportedly part of a “watch-list” of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” the Guild informed Bicol Today.com by email in Naga City.
March of this year, the Guild was maliciously red-tagged as an organization affiliated with the New People’s Army and subjected the Guild under surveillance by the state due to its progressive and patriotic orientation.
Looking back to Ampatuan massacre nightmare
On November 23, 2010, 32 journalists were killed in what was described as one of the most fatal attacks to media practitioners.
The “Ampatuan massacre” resulted in tagging the Philippines as one of the deadliest and most dangerous countries for journalists.
Eight (8) years have already passed but justice remains elusive for the victims and their families. In fact, the primary suspect, Andal Ampatuan Sr., have already died.
Our court even granted his son, Sajid Islam Uy Ampatuan and 70 others responsible for the brutal attack, a temporary freedom.
Filipino journalists under constant state of threat
Filipino journalists are always subjected under threat and attack amid the creation of the Presidential Task Force for Media Security under the regime of Rodrigo Duterte.
It has no significant action and program to protect media practitioners from harassment and state violence.
It only serves as an agency under the Executive Branch, which is spearheaded by the perpetrators of harassment and attacks to the media.
Duterte, as a proud fascist and outright violator of human rights, tolerates the continuing violence and culture of impunity in the country.
Under his regime, six media practitioners have already been killed in their line of duty and at least 13,000 have been killed under the government’s war against drugs.
Guild to fight State Repression
Amid the brutal assault to press freedom and democratic rights of the people, the Guild will maintain its patriotic and democratic orientation to fulfill its duty which is to uphold truth, freedom, and justice. the group has sworn.
“We call on the Filipino people to unite and combat state-perpetuated violence and all forms of repression that target the people’s democratic rights,” said the Guild. [BicolToday.com]