This is the stand signed by Dumaguete journalists and journalism students in a ceremony held Nov. 22 at the Aquino Freedom Park to mark the first anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre — Editor
We, working journalists and future journalists of Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental, are gathered to remember our 30 innocent brothers and sisters in the industry who, along with 28 other individuals, met their untimely deaths in the worst incident of political violence in the Philippines, which happened on Nov. 23, 2009 in the town of Datu Ampatuan, province of Maguindanao, in what is referred to worldwide as the Ampatuan Massacre.
We condemn the violence inflicted on these 58 individuals, where the suspects were elected public officials, policemen, and members of private armies.
We sympathize with the families of our slain colleagues, and join them in their cry for justice.
Justice has been a slow and elusive process. Almost 200 persons have been tagged as suspects in this gruesome crime, but more than half have yet to be arrested as they have reportedly joined bandit groups in Central Mindanao.
We join the call for the government to make real its vow to dismantle private armies, and to clamp down the illegal manufacturers of guns.
We join the cry for transparency in the trial by allowing the public to view it live on television.
While we remain vigilant in our quest for justice, we also renew our commitment to responsible journalism, and in our quest to professionalize our ranks.
We also call on the owners of media outfits to ensure better working conditions and to adhere to the principle of self-regulation.