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Provincial media groups commemorate Maguindanao massacre

By: - Correspondent / @carlagomezINQ
/ 10:08 PM November 23, 2017

Journalists in Negros Occidental release eight white balloons at the Bacolod public plaza to symbolize the eight years that justice has been denied to the 58 victims of the Maguindanao massacre. (Chrysee Samillano, contributor)

BACOLOD CITY—At least 50 journalists, students and civic group members are calling for justice for the victims of the country’s worst election-related violence that left 58 persons killed, 32 of them journalists.

Clad in black shirts with a  message that read “Stop Killing Journalists,” the group of mediamen held a torched rally around the Bacolod City Public Plaza past 5 p.m. on Thursday, which coincided the eighth anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre.

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They then lighted candles in front of the Marker of the Fallen Journalists inside the plaza.

“We have seen that the culprits have not been convicted or penalized (eight years after the massacre),” said Renato Duran, president of the Negros Press Club.

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Andrea Jaime, sister of Connie Jaime-Brizuela, a Negrense lawyer who died in the massacre, asked President Rodrigo Duterte to hasten the hearing of the cases so that there will be justice that the victims deserved.

In a statement, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) chapter in Bacolod, said it has been eight years since the worst election-related violence in recent Philippine history and the worst attack on journalists the world has known, but the pursuit for justice for the victims of the massacre continues.

“Also, as we commemorate the 8th anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre, there’s a resurgence of threats and attacks on journalists who report critical stories about this administration—journalists are trolled online by the rabid supporters of this administration,” the statement said.

It added that, at this time and age, especially in the era of fake news, the country needs an independent press that will serve as watchdogs of society today, especially where there is culture of impunity. /jpv

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