MEMBERS of the media in Cagayan de Oro City gathered at the Press Freedom Monument in the Capitol Grounds on Friday, November 2, to light candles and offer prayers to commemorate the International Day to End Impunity of Crimes Against Journalists.
Around Friday late afternoon, journalists from various media outlets in the city took some time off their schedules to remember their colleagues who were killed in the line of duty.
Similar events were also held in Zamboanga, Tagum, Ozamis, Tacurong City, and Kidapawan City.
In a statement from Mindanao Independent Press Council (MIPC) Inc., the organization expressed solidarity to the call to end impunity not only against members of the media but also human rights workers, advocates of social causes, and on civilians.
"Let us remember those who sacrificed and died while doing a legitimate story in the quest for truth. Their death should be our strength in seeking for truth and justice. Let us not forget the still unsolved Maguindanao Massacre, the Dennis case and those who died in Mindanao," the MIPC stated.
"In the era of fake news, let us re-affirm our commitment to stay truthful, balanced, and fearless. Let not political correctness hamper our commitment to press freedom and democracy," it added.
The organization also renewed its vow for the protection of press freedom, democracy and impunity and re-affirmed its commitment "to be fair and balance and avoid political persecution."
"Let this day be a symbol of our collective struggle against the forces who wish to extinguish democracy by silencing the voices that promote it," the MIPC said.
According to the survey done by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Southeast Asia Journalist Unions (Seaju) on journalist safety and working conditions, the biggest threats to journalists in 2018 are: working conditions, cyber-attack, physical attack, and arrest or detention.
Around 55 percent of journalists rate the culture of impunity as a major problem or epidemic in their country and 50 percent of journalists rated government efforts to protect journalists as worsening or extremely bad.
The survey also showed justice system, political leadership, government, and police as key influencers on impunity.
The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists came into being when the United National General Assembly adopted a resolution in 2013 declaring November 2 to mark this important day.