Bukidnon journalists mark 2nd anniversary of Ampatuan massacre

MALAYBALAY CITY  (Bukidnon News/22 November) Three Bukidnon-based media organizations have jointly organized a local commemoration of the second anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre that killed 32 journalists and media workers on November 23, 2009.


Members of the Bukidnon Press Club, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (Bukidnon), and the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (Bukidnon) will gather Wednesday at the Bukidnon State University Museum meeting hall to mark the anniversary.


The International Federation for Free Expression also declared November 23 every year as the International Day to End Impunity. Dubbed “Barog, Tapok, Lihok” (Stand, Gather, Act), Bukidnon-based journalists will hold a program to help members remember the tragedy, listen to updates on the case, and pray for slain colleagues and their families.


Organizers announced that journalists also planned to make the event a launching pad for its local collaborative initiatives to address community media issues on safety, ethics, sustainability, and professionalism.


According to the draft of the program, journalists will screen a copy of ANC’s “58” video documentary on the massacre, the victims, and their families.  An update of the cases filed in court, prepared by the National Union of Journalists (NUJP), will also be presented after the film showing. Representatives from different sectors, including a representative from families of unsolved cases of killings in the province, will be given time to share updates and insights.


The Bukidnon Press Club will also propose the Bukidnon Community-Media Forum, to be composed of the heads of the three media organizations and partners from the civil society, people’s organizations, non-government and government organizations, and the academe.


The forum is eyed to be the convener of the Bukidnon Media Summit, which will provide venue to tackle issues and problems and propose actions. Among the plans is to put up a local Press Freedom and Responsibility Fund, to help news media organizations conduct trainings to professionalize journalism in the province.


Journalists will end the local commemoration with candle lighting and prayers at the BSU Grounds, which will be led by NUJP Bukidnon officers.


Representatives from the media will also attend and cover the prayer-rally on the massacre’s anniversary organized by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Valencia City.


Bukidnon’s media organizations held a similar activity on December 10, 2009, weeks after the massacre to condemn the massacre and to reflect on local situations. On December 23, 2010, the community press also joined media organizations nation-wide to mark the anniversary of the killing that has put the Philippines in the map of the most dangerous place for journalists. (Bukidnon News)

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