Press group to mark Ampatuan massacre’s 33rd month-A A +A
Monday, August 20, 2012
ANGELES CITY -- Pampanga press groups are again set to commemorate the 33rd month of the Ampatuan massacre on August 23.
At the same time, representatives of the local media group made representations to the vigil led by the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) to mark the 1,000th day of the massacre last August 19 at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City.
Ashley Jay Manabat, chairperson of the NUJP Pampanga chapter, said: “We have not even once defaulted in our resolve to mark every 23rd of the month not to just commemorate the heinous crime that killed 32 of our colleagues and 26 other civilians but to let everyone who would care to listen to know that we are one with the quest for justice and resolution for the victims and their families.”
“We shall light candles and say our prayers on Thursday at 8 a.m. at the Bale Balita in Clark Freeport Zone. We call on all every media worker in Pampanga who would care to pay respects to our colleagues who perished from the bullets who rule with impunity,” Manabat added.
Rogie Pangilinan, chairperson of the Angeles City Press and Radio Club (ACPRC), lamented that “many among the Pampanga media ranks seem to have lost the fire in their hearts in the struggle for justice for our colleagues in the massacre a thousand days ago considered as the single bloodiest attack on press freedom not only in the country but in the world.”
Meanwhile, representatives of NUJP Pampanga and Zambales joined other media groups, students from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, University of Sto. Tomas, Kalayaan Colleges, and University of Manila that offered prayers, songs and poems to commemorate the massacre now just three months short of its third anniversary.
Groups such as Tulisanes and Concerned Artists of the Philippines also rendered performances that will tackle injustice and the continuing impunity under President Benigno Aquino III’s watch.
The event was also graced by surprise attendance of respected personalities such as Professor Lester Demetillo of the UP Conservatory of Music and his wife, poet-song writer-singer Jesus Manuel Santiago, and poet-veteran journalist Jose Lacaba, who rendered meaningful pieces.
The vigil, which started at 4 p.m. and ended at 9 a.m. of Monday, was organized by the NUJP, Philippine Press Institute, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and networks ABS-CBN and GMA7.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 21, 2012.