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.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries
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