5 December 2009
We absolutely oppose the imposition of martial law in Maguindanao and, prospectively, anywhere else in the country.
We believe that, with the severe restrictions on freedoms it imposes, on the one hand, and the wide latitude of police, military, and official powers it allows, on the other, martial law will only compound the troubles it has been precisely intended to deal with.
Indeed, we believe that normal powers exercised by a decisive, strong-willed, and well-intentioned leadership are enough to bring the perpetrators of the November 23 massacre in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao, to justice.
History offers clear, powerful, and painful enough lessons in the deceptive promises of martial law: It has been used for repression, instead of justice.
The November 23 Movement *
Center for Community Journalism and Development
Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility
College Editors Guild of the Philippines
Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Philippine Human Rights Reporting Project
Philippine Press Institute
Southeast Asia Press Alliance
* The November 23 Movement is a loose coalition of media organizations calling for justice to fellow journalists and other innocent civilians who were abducted, slaughtered and hastily buried in mass graves in Ampatuan, Maguindanao on November 23, 2009. It has been calling for an independent investigation of the crime that killed 30 journalists in a single attack, suddenly catapulting the Philippines as the world’s deadliest place for journalists.