By Macel Ingles
ROME, Italy—Members of the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP)-Europe Chapter joined the Roman Catholic community in Rome to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre where 58 people were killed, 32 of whom were media workers.
In a commemoration Mass officiated Fr. Ricky Gente, chaplain priest of the Sentro Filipino Chaplaincy at the Basilica de Sta. Prudenziana in Rome, 17 November, he reminded the parishioners of the need to keep the memory of the slain media workers and the rest of the 58 victims alive and called for support to the families of the victims in their quest for justice.
In a statement read at the Mass, NUJP Europe called the slow Ampatuan trial an indictment of the culture of impunity in the Philippines.
During the Mass, a minute of silence and a candle-lighting ceremony were held.
Edu del Carmen, chairperson of the Rome-based Filipino organization Umangat Migrante also read a solidarity message.
“Mahigpit kaming nakikiisa sa inyong isasagawang pag-alala sa mga biktima at kasama kaming nanawagan para sa kagyat na katarungan para sa mga biktima,” del Carmen said.
The Ampatuan massacre of November 23, 2009 is regarded as the worst incident of electoral violence in Philippine history and the world’s single biggest attack on journalists.
The Philippine Supreme Court recently granted the 30-day extension on the deadline for the ruling on the cases against Datu Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan Jr. and close to 200 others charged for the mass killing.
NUJP-Europe Chapter members who attended the event are journalists from Germany, Spain, Norway, United Kingdom (UK), and Italy.
The chapter was formed in 2015 by Filipino journalists from Germany, Ireland, Norway, UK, Belgium, Spain, Sweden and France. #