May 03, 2012
Alliance Against Impunity in Mindanao statement on World Press Freedom Day
On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, the Alliance Against Impunity joins journalists in Mindanao in their struggle for freedom of expression and protection from attacks.
It is sad that in this country, journalism remains a dangerous occupation, as the country is among the highest worldwide in incidents of journalist killings. The trial on the worse incident of journalist killings, the Ampatuan Massacre that killed 32 media workers, is seeing no light of justice in the end with the many legal tactics from the defense to delay the trial.
Yet, we continue to aspire that the right to information and expression are keys to move our sectors towards fighting the many wrongs in society that would bring us from various sectors in Mindanao to fight issues of corruption, environment plunder, militarism prevailing in our island.
Specifically, we believe that journalists are bound by a social contract to be the voice of the people, especially the poor and the oppressed. As the takeover of resources intensifies, and as more journalists take the side of the marginalized, their voices are being silenced and their opinions suppressed by those in the corridors of power and profit.
We join our media workers in this struggle for press freedom. We challenge also our present government to make concrete actions to speed up the Ampatuan trial, and to ensure protection of media and other groups and individuals in their advocacies. (Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao)