UNTV leads Kidapawan commemoration of Ampatuan Massacre

KIDAPAWAN CITY  (MindaNews/23 May) – Reporters and cameramen of UNTV in North Cotabato  led the commemoration on Sunday of the sixth month since the November 23 massacre of 58 persons in Ampatuan, Maguindanao,  32 of them from the media, four of  whom were UNTV workers.

John Orbe, UNTV reporter here said justice has become elusive for victims of the massacre.

Orbe and his crew led the prayers and renewal of their demand for justice and accountability to those who are behind the killings.

“It’s been six months since the killings took place, yet it’s not clear whether the relatives of the victims of the massacre get the justice due them,” said Orbe.

Reporters, mostly officers and members of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Kidapawan chapter, wore black t-shirts as symbol of their continuing grief.

The indignation rally was held in front of the office of the UNTV along the national highway, particularly at Purok-Dos, Barangay Lanao here.

The UNTV reporters, their friends in media, and those supporting their cause lit candles as they offered prayers for the repose of the souls of the victims.

The NUJP statement said the May 23 activity of the Maguindanao massacre was the second to the last commemoration of the infamy under the Arroyo administration.

“As we do [commemorate the massacre], let us renew our resolve to hold this administration accountable for the lives lost because of its apathy, even outright hostility towards media, and its politics of expediency emboldened the enemies of press freedom, many of them its allies, to continue enforcing the ultimate censorship – death,” said the NUJP statement.

Activities to commemorate the occasion were also held n other parts of Mindanao and in Metro Manila. (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)