By Rose Tijam, PPCO President
Citizens around the world – from Bulgaria, Iran, Mexico, Russia, Slovakia, Syria, Turkey, Philippines, and many others – lament the fact that hundreds of their journalists have been killed, disappeared, or targeted as a result of their work. Their own governments, thugs and others, brutally and with impunity flount their power in silencing the rule of law.
Freedom of expression is muzzled and those who object or persevere in their work are being intimidated. Journalists are cowed with threats of arrest, detention, disappearance, brutality and even death. These threats include their colleagues and family members.
Mainstream and ethnic media practitioners continue to report these atrocities to no avail.
In the homeland, the infamous ” Ampatuan Massacre” is now on its ninth year. In November 23, 2009, in Maguindanao in southern Philippines, a caravan of concerned citizens and journalists joined some legitimate aspirants to political office on a trip to town to register their participation in the electoral process. They were ambushed along the way. Fifty eight victims, some of them children, were massacred. There were 32 journalists among them. It was reported to be the largest number of journalists killed in a single incident in the world. Unfortunately, there has been no conviction to date.
The Philippine Press Club of Ontario, for many years , commemorate this tragic event with an annual call for justice and remembrance.
We have not forgotten our fallen sisters and brothers in this field.