The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins
with affiliate the National
Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in stronglysupporting a decision by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima
to reject an offer by a key suspected conspirator in the 2009 Ampatuan Town
Massacre to be a state witness.
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)Governor Zaldy Ampatuan last week confirmed rumours that
he was willing to testify against his father, Andal Ampatuan Sr,and brother Andal Ampatuan Jr.
The three family
members are on trial for the massacre in Maguindanao on November 23, 2009, in which
58 people including 32 journalists and media workers were brutally murdered.
“The IFJ welcomes the rejection of Zaldy Ampatuan’s application to be a state
witness,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director
Jacqueline Park said.
“Zaldy Ampatuan’s offer to
testify against family members seems an attempt to avoid the full judicial
process in prosecuting him for his alleged crime, and the IFJ joins with the NUJP in supporting the decision to reject the offer.”
At least one key prosecution witness has already identified
Zaldy Ampatuan as amongthose who conspired
and plotted the massacre, which disqualifies him from becoming a state witness,
the NUJP said in a statement
The IFJ also notes that Zaldy Ampatuan has not yet been arraigned because of a case brought by
the accused in the Court of Appeals, where he sought to be excluded from the group
of 197 people chargedwith 57 counts of
murder. The body of one further victim, Reynaldo “Bebot” Momay, has not been
The IFJ joins the NUJP in calling on
those seeking justice for the massacre victims and
theirfamilies to remain vigilant to ensure
that justice is upheld in this critical case.
further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +61 2 9333 0919
IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
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