Press Release No. 16/2010
Date: 23 November 2010
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), have called on journalists, media workers and their friends and colleagues to organise a Global Day of Action on 23 November 2010 to mark the first anniversary of the world’s single biggest atrocity perpetrated against journalists ever.
On 23 November, 2009, 32 journalists and media workers were brutally murdered in a massacre of at least 57 people in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao, in the southern Philippines.
The Institute of Maltese Journalists (IGM), the sole IFJ affiliate in Malta, has associated itself with the IFJ Global Day of Action today.
The IGM has sent a protest fax to the President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, via the Philippines’ consul-general for Malta, in which it has called on the Philippine Government to ensure that all those were responsible for this massacre against journalists are brought to justice.
“Under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1738 (2006), which requires governments to actively protect journalists and media workers in areas of conflict within national borders, your government is obliged to ensure the safety of media personnel as civilians,” IGM Chairman Malcolm J. Naudi insisted in his protest fax to the Philippines’ President.
“With this in mind, we call on you to ensure your Government, the police and the security forces act on their responsibilities to bring the perpetrators and instigators of the 23 November atrocity to account, without further delay, and to act now to end the culture of impunity that has plagued the Philippines for so long,” the IGM chairman added.
He also expressed the Institute of Maltese Journalists’ deep sympathies “with the families of the victims and our colleagues from the Philippines journalism community, and trust you will do all in your power to assist them to see justice is achieved”.
The IGM has also written a protest fax to Maltese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Tonio Borg calling on the Maltese Government to demand that the Philippines administration take action to address the massacre and achieve justice.
“I am writing as the Institute of Maltese Journalists (IGM), on behalf of all journalists in our country, to urge you to do everything in your power to press the Government of the Philippines to ensure the perpetrators of the massacre of a confirmed 58 people in the southern Philippines on 23 November, 2009, are brought to justice,” Naudi insisted in his protest fax to the Foreign Minister.
The IGM Council was also inviting “all IGM members, as well as the entire Maltese journalistic community and all those who are concerned about the situation in the Philippines to send an e-card to the Philippines President to urge him to bring all those who committed the Ampatuan massacre to justice”.
The e-card to President Aquino can be sent by clicking on the following url: http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/pages/ampatuan-massacre-justice-now
The IFJ and many other international organisations were co-ordinating global activities, including online Facebook and Twitter protests, while the NUJP and its local partners in the Philippines have run an intense programme of events throughout the Philippines in the lead up to and on 23 November, 2010.
IFJ Asia-Pacific has also joined the NUJP in the Philippines for an international mission during this week “to provide solidarity to the families and colleagues of those murdered, to support the NUJP in its tireless campaigning for justice, and to conduct advocacy with the Government of Benigno Aquino III to demand justice and an end to the culture of impunity that has gripped the Philippines for far too long”.