Key Suspect in Philippines Massacre Attempts to Escape Charges

 

The International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) is alarmed that suspended Autonomous Region in Muslim

Mindanao (ARMM) governor Zaldy Ampatuan is attempting to be removed from the

list of suspects who are facing trial for carrying out the November 23, 2009

massacre in the Philippines

of 58 people, including 32 journalists and media workers.

 

The Philippines Court of Appeals

will soon decide on a petition for “certiorari” or judicial review, filed by Zaldy

Ampatuan. If it is successful he will be freed from jail and avoid facing trial.

 

“This is a crucial moment in the

trial of the Ampatuan Town Massacre suspects,” IFJ

Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

“The IFJ sends its solidarity and

support to the families of victims who today are gathering in Manila to show their outrage over the

possibility of one of the main suspects being released from detention.”

IFJ affiliate the National Union of

Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)

has today joined with members of the families of media victims’ group Justice

Now, the Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists (FFFJ) and other press freedom advocates

in marching to the Court of Appeals from the Department of Justice in Manila at 1pm local time today.

The Philippines ranks among the worst

countries in the world in terms of journalists’ safety, with 142 media workers

killed since the end of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986. In 2010, the IFJ

delivered an action

plan to newly elected President Benigno Aquino III calling upon his

government to bring an end to the culture of impunity that plagued the country

during the presidency of his predecessor Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries

 

Find the IFJ

on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

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