By ALYSSA MAE CLARIN
MANILA — Calls for justice remained fervent thirteen years since the single-most deadliest attack on journalists in the world, and three years since the promulgation of the case.
In 2019, the families were able to rejoice after 28 perpetrators— including the masterminds, Datu Andal Jr and Zaldy Ampatuan, were convicted of 57 counts of murder. An update from the Office of the Press Secretary also stated that an appeal by prosecutors has to lead to the conviction of another convicted accessory to murder.
At present, a total of 44 people have been convicted over the Ampatuan massacre, but some of the cases are still under appeal.
Families of the victims and press freedom advocates have continued to call for the conviction of 83 more perpetrators who are still at large, as well as the inclusion of journalist Reynaldo Momay among the list of the victims.
The family, along with members of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) held a short commemoration program, where they reaffirmed their commitment to continue calling for justice for the Ampatuan Massacre.
NUJP echoed the calls and said that they continue to offer the victims’ families their solidarity and support, and commitment to continue reporting on the case until it gets the justice it deserves.
“We take note of the administration’s commitment, communicated through the OPS, that the government will not forget this heinous crime and hope, along with the families, that full justice will not take another 13 years,” said NUJP.
NUJP has noted at least 57 cases of journalist murder since the Ampatuan massacre— the last was the murder of veteran broadcast journalist Percy Lapid, who was shot dead while on his way home in Las Piñas, Metro Manila on October 3, 2022.
“While we are saddened and enraged that the culture of impunity on attacks against journalists continues to reign, we take solace in the solidarity among our ranks and with other press freedom advocates,” they added.
“As the Justice Now families have stressed, forgetting is not an option for us,” NUJP said. (JJE)